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.

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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“Reviewing” Strategies That Increase Student Achievement

By Don Marlett

How do exemplary schools use “Reviewing” strategies to increase student achievement?  When reviewing for end-of-course tests or final exams, or even unit tests, there are several things to consider doing to reinforce the High-Yield Strategies you already use with students. Now is not the time to revert to the “old way” of reviewing. Students should…

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Facilitating Learning With a Graphic Organizer Instructional Strategy

By Don Marlett

A lesson without a graphic organizer is never as effective as a lesson with one. Strong statement? Yes. True? Also yes. When we teach, we want students to understand new concepts and skills and remember what they have learned for a long time.  Learning is a combination of the storage of information and the ability…

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Teaching Vocabulary: 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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importance of social emotional learning in the classroom

Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom – A Guide for Elementary Teachers

By Melissa Marlett

A lot of the buzz around education today is around engagement, academics, and catching kids up. While everyone would love if a switch existed for kids to be engaged, that’s (unfortunately) not possible. Engagement doesn’t come from finding the right tech tool, but a sense of belonging. Kids are more engaged when they feel connected. …

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meeting the needs of all learners

Meeting the Needs of All Learners Requires a Balanced Approach to Instruction

By Debra Simons

Now more than ever we must look at the whole child in education. It is so much more than just being proficient. During this pandemic educators often hear, “Maslow before Bloom.” While I find that to be true, I also believe there is a balance needed. We shouldn’t lower our expectations of children but rather…

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literacy in content areas

Literacy in Content Areas: Effective Literacy Instruction

By Robert Syphard

The Common Core State Standards have established new expectations for literacy in all content areas. The expression “all teachers are teachers of reading” has never been truer.  We should be intentional, however, about the way we approach literacy in the content areas. When discussing the integration of the Common Core Literacy Standards, a social studies…

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Teaching Vocabulary: Effective PreK Vocabulary Instruction in the Classroom

By Abra Seay

A child’s educational career is like a marathon, but many students start school only prepared to run a mile and others a 5K.  There’s a monumental difference in children’s word knowledge (also known as word gap or word poverty) when they enter school, primarily based on the educational and socioeconomic level of their parents and…

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word wall ideas

Word Wall Ideas – Ready for an Interactive Classroom Word Wall Makeover?

By Lindsey Hampton

What is a Word Wall? Word Walls are organized collections of words placed on a wall or other surface in the classroom. They are excellent tools for building word consciousness in students through increased vocabulary interaction and social learning opportunities; especially as students make connections among important concepts and big ideas. Interactive Word Walls, vocabulary…

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