Lesson Planning

At Learning-Focused, we have the same vision as you do: to make sure every student has the benefit of having a highly effective teacher. This starts with ensuring teachers are trained on the foundation of an effective lesson plan framework. Check back often as we continue to update our high-impact Lesson Plan tips and resources for teachers, educators, and leaders.

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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writing in the classroom

Writing Across the Curriculum – Examples and Strategy Review

By Lindsey Hampton

Why is Writing to Raise Achievement so important to use throughout every lesson? Let’s start by explaining more about Writing Across the Curriculum. What Does “Writing Across the Curriculum” Mean? Writing Across the Curriculum refers to the notion that content area teachers reinforce the benchmarks that ELA teachers traditionally teach in their lessons. All teachers…

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Formative Assessment Examples: A Guide Into Peer Feedback and Student Self-Assessment Strategies

By Lindsey Hampton

The Challenge of Giving Consistent Student Feedback Learning without monitoring is like driving without a destination; you may never arrive anywhere.  Anyone who has ever tried to learn something new knows the value of monitoring, both personally and by an instructor. Without this reciprocal responsibility, it’s possible to never “arrive” at our intended destination, such…

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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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reading comprehension skills - retell recount summarize framework

Retell, Recount, and Summarize:
3 Essential Reading Comprehension Skills

By Wanda Humphrey

As a literacy coach, I typically get asked by 4th and 5th-grade teachers how to teach students to summarize. When this happens, I refer teachers to the ELA Standard 2 spiral progression. We discuss the verbs used in grades K-3 and the student’s ability to retell and recount. Our discussion concludes that retelling and recounting…

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Curriculum Planning: Why (and How) Educators Should Adopt a Standards-Driven Approach

By Lindsey Hampton

Have you ever considered how you approach travel planning may be the same as how you approach curriculum planning?  I love traveling, but I must sheepishly admit I think I like planning for it even more. Over the years, I have planned trips with a myriad of people, and I have noticed three distinctive types…

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7 Formative Assessment Strategy Examples (That Aren’t Your “Same Old, Same Old”)

By Don Marlett

Let’s be real — repeatedly using the same old Formative Assessments or Assessment Prompts could be boring. How many times have you written “exit ticket” on your lesson plan this year? If you are tired of the same strategies, your students probably are too. The repeated “exit ticket” is frequently overused and bland. Worse, it…

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Accelerate Learning by Tackling the Word Gap with Effective Vocabulary Instruction

By Lindsey Hampton

How many unknown vocabulary words in a text can a student skip over before comprehension is affected?  Read this altered text and try to construct its meaning:  The fribble has a large head with two eyes that can see very well. They are able to see fish and objects that others might miss. Shucky arms…

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Developing Teacher Expertise – The Obstacle and Opportunity

By Don Marlett

It is a common practice to think about your teaching journey and wonder how you got to where you are today. 

The skills you’ve developed and the strategies you use with your students determine your expertise. It is important then, to consider, at what point are you an expert of a particular skill or strategy?

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Reflecting on the Physical Environment
(aka the “Other Teacher”)

By Lindsey Hampton

While some schools have already said, “See you next year!” to their students, many others are still in the midst of preparing for this bittersweet moment. But regardless of where you are now, whether it’s in your last few days or weeks, or you have already begun cleaning your classroom, the end of the year…

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