Don Marlett

Don has been an educator for 20+ years. Before joining Learning-Focused, he taught High School and Middle School Science and was a school administrator. Don has participated in school evaluations focused on implementing High-Yield Strategies. In addition, he partnered with various state DOEs to support leaders and presented at numerous conferences hosted by multiple leadership organizations in Florida, NC, Ohio, WV, TN, and KY. Don leads product development, provides leadership training and coaching, and coaches educators in the implementation of High-Yield strategies.

Principals: School Improvement Starts with Better Teacher Feedback

By Don Marlett

Teacher feedback is essential for fostering growth, improvement, and positive change within a school. Feedback leads to better student engagement and learning outcomes by identifying and refining teaching methods, which improves teacher effectiveness. Constructive feedback fosters a positive school environment by boosting teacher morale and communication. Ultimately, investing in teacher feedback enhances student learning by…

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School Improvement Planning: A Strategic Guide to Using Learning-Focused Newsletter Articles 

By Don Marlett

The Learning-Focused Newsletter continues to be an invaluable resource for district personnel, school administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers throughout the academic year and into summer planning. The newsletter’s articles are versatile and useful for incorporating high yield strategies throughout all lessons. The articles can guide collaborative planning, serve as the agenda for team meetings or…

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Increasing Critical Thinking in Education: How to Prepare Students for the Future

By Don Marlett

The world is changing rapidly, and the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in the workplace vastly differ from those of the past. Rote memorization and basic recall of facts are no longer enough. Today’s students need to be critical thinkers – able to analyze information, solve problems creatively, and collaborate effectively. Richard Riley, former…

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How Does Teacher Stress Contribute to Decision Fatigue and Scarcity?

By Don Marlett

Teaching, a profession as challenging as it is rewarding, often places educators in the hot seat, where they must make split-second decisions that can shape their students’ learning outcomes. It’s not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about doing so in a way that fosters a conducive environment for learning. At the heart of this is…

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Learning Through Mistakes: How Deliberate Errors Can Boost Student Engagement and Retention

By Don Marlett

Forget Everything You Know About Note-Taking: Unleash the Power of Deliberate Errors! Imagine a world where making mistakes in class boosts your learning. Sounds crazy, right? Well, a new study suggests that incorporating deliberate errors into your note-taking can be a game-changer. This blog dives deep into the fascinating concept of “deliberate erring” and how…

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The Essential Distinction Between Learning and Performance: Insights for K-12 Educators

By Don Marlett

When it comes to teaching, the ultimate goal is to ensure students understand new concepts and skills and be able to apply that knowledge in varying contexts long after they’ve left the classroom. However, this ambition brings educators face-to-face with a paradoxical truth illuminated by Nicholas C. Soderstrom and Robert A. Bjork from the University…

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Teaching Students Error Analysis: A Pathway to Critical Thinking

By Don Marlett

Last year, I visited classrooms with April Shackleford, the principal of Lucama Elementary, recently recognized as a Blue Ribbon School. We walked into a 4th-grade math classroom, and the first thing I noticed were students working in pairs and discussing math problems.  As we walked around the classroom, it became clear that students were working…

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getting to know your students

6 “Get to Know You” Activities & Icebreakers In the Classroom

By Don Marlett

The beginning of a new school year is always an exciting yet anxious time, and getting your students started on a positive note is important. Your first impression should be of high energy and excitement about being together, and you want to reinforce your enthusiasm about how and what your new students will be learning…

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Impact of Previewing in Science: Example from the Classroom

By Don Marlett

In a 5th Grade Science classroom at Barnes Elementary School in Wilson County, the students and teachers had a secret folder. The folder was the idea of the 5th Grade Science Teacher. This one particular class was scoring in the 20s and 30s on assessments. This was about half of what the other three classes were scoring. So the teacher created…

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Previewing in Math: Using Instructional Strategies in the Classroom

By Don Marlett

I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Rene Spry and her teachers at Oxford Elementary School in Catawba County. After attending Accelerating Learning with Previewing training, she recruited a few select teachers and began implementing Previewing this year. After visiting her school and hearing about the impact of Previewing, I followed up with…

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