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  • Title:Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning
  • Author:Mike Schmoker
  • Publication Date:2011
  • Grade Level:K-12
  • ISBN:9781416611301
  • Publisher:ASCD

Instead of piling on one new reform fad after another, here at last is a book that boils down solutions for improved schools to the most powerful, simple actions and structures that ensure you prepare all students for college, careers, and citizenship. Best-selling ASCD author and renowned consultant Mike Schmoker explains why and how to take a “first-things-first” approach to school improvement and focus laser-like on only three essentials:

  • Coherent curriculum (what we teach).
  • Sound lessons (how we teach).
  • Purposeful reading and writing (authentic literacy).

In making his clear and compelling case, Schmoker delves deep into the significance of the three essentials so you get a complete understanding of what they mean to your daily practice, including

  • How to navigate content standards documents to select just the items that clarify what to teach.
  • Which essential elements to include in every lesson.
  • How to implement lesson templates that simplify teaching and make it more effective with less effort and frustration.
  • Why including current news in class can have a game-changing impact on student engagement and retention, college preparation, and attitudes toward school.

Applying these insights gained from his years of work with schools of all kinds, Schmoker lays out a complete plan for radically improving the way schools teach language arts, social studies, science, and math.


Author Bio

Mike Schmoker is a former administrator, English teacher, and football coach. He has written six books and dozens of articles for education journals, newspapers, and TIME magazine. Schmoker is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for his publications and presentations. He has consulted and presented keynotes throughout the United States, Canada, Australia.

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