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.

How to Modernize and Reimagine K-12 Small Group Instruction

By Lindsey Hampton

In today’s classrooms, educators face a constant challenge: differentiate instruction to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. Small group instruction has emerged as a popular solution, promising a way to provide more individualized attention. However, many uncertainties remain: The key to unlocking the true potential of small groups lies in a crucial…

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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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word wall review strategy example

7 Effective, Engaging Review Strategies to Boost Your Students’ Success (and Scores!)

By Lindsey Hampton

In an ideal world, review isn’t just a pre-exam scramble! Instead, it is a thread that must be strategically woven throughout the school year, providing students with dedicated time for retrieval and practice, whether before end-of-year assessments or after a series of connected lessons. But how do we ensure our review strategies and classroom time…

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Rethinking EOY Reviews: Effectively Prepare Students by Reversing Gradual Release

By Lindsey Hampton

As the school year winds down and end-of-course exams and final assessments loom, it’s natural to want to jump into a full-blown end-of-year teaching review of everything students have learned.  However, the key to effective EOY reviews isn’t simply re-teaching everything but targeting the appropriate level of instruction students need at the end of the…

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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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From Cheating to Critical Thinking: How AI in the Classroom Can Empower Students

By Brooks Mendenhall

More and more of my 8th-grade English Language Arts students have been using AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Grammarly to complete their writing assignments. This is concerning for several reasons, not the least of which is academic dishonesty. While it’s not difficult to pick out an essay written by ChatGPT, it can be difficult to…

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Summarizing in Silence: The Chalk Talk Strategy

By Lindsey Hampton

Imagine your classroom transformed. Students are actively engaged, thinking critically, and collaborating to construct a deeper understanding of diverse topics. This captivating learning environment is within reach by harnessing the power of summarizing, a transformable strategy applicable across all content areas.  The Power of Student  Summarizing Research consistently highlights the multifaceted benefits of summarizing: What…

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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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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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