Classroom Strategies to Increase Student Achivement

Last year at a PLC with our RTI Coordinator and a grade level team, we began a dive into John Hattie. If you don’t know his research it’s like Robert Marzano but (I think) way, way cooler. (You can find out more about him from his book Visible Learning; he does tons with student achievement.) The data is super cool and geared towards finding strategies that give teachers the most bang for their buck when it comes to academic achievement.

In fact, Hattie found that most teachers have some degree of impact on their students’ learning. His strategies can be used regardless of the classroom. The impact is real and the greater the degree of impact the larger the results. These ideas are meant to become part of your classroom and become embedded into your classroom. (aka these take time and in some cases a whole year or more to see the results--but they work!) The closer to 1.0 the stronger the strategies.



Here are 8 Strategies that BOTH John Hattie and Robert Marzano agree with.

Strategy 1: A Clear Focus for the Lesson

Both Hattie and Marzano highlight how important it is for you (and your students) to be clear about what you want them to learn in each lesson. According to Hattie, teacher clarity is one of the most potent influences on student achievement.

In your class, it looks like posted Learning Targets.



Strategy 2: Offer Overt Instruction

AKA Direct Instruction

Direct Instruction involves explicitly teaching a carefully sequenced curriculum, with built-in cumulative practice.

Examples: SRA Reading Mastery or Fisher & Frey's Gradual Release of Responsibility


Strategy 3: Get the Students to Engage With the Content
While it is essential to actively teach students what they need to know and be able to do, they also need to be actively engaged with the content.

Marzano and Hattie agree that this starts with students actively linking your newly provided information with their prior knowledge of the topic. Students need to engage with the content as soon as they hear it by:
  • Adding it to what they already know, or
  • Using it to clarify some of the faulty assumptions they currently hold

This is your lesson plan flow. Using Exit Tickets to determine what they know and what you need to reteach.


Strategy 4: Give Feedback
It is important that you give your students feedback after they engage with any new material. This:

  • Highlighting what is right and wrong, or good and bad about their work
  • Helping students to see how they can improve



Strategy 5: Multiple Exposures

If you want students to internalize new information, you need to expose them to it several times.
AKA: repeated readings, consistently review material, consistently practicing material

Strategy 6: Have Students Apply Their Knowledge

Robert Marzano found that helping students apply their knowledge deepens their understanding.
AKA: Project Based Learning, Student Voice & Choice on how they demonstrate their learning, Bloom's, Webb's Depth of Knowledge



Strategy 7: Get Students Working Together

Both agree that getting students to work with each other helps them to achieve better results. The use of cooperative learning groups adds value to whole-class instruction (d = 0.41) and to individual work (d = 0.59-0.78). (The closer to 1.0 the stronger the intervention)



Strategy 8: Build Students’ Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to a student’s belief about their ability to successfully complete a task. It is situation specific. For example, a student may feel confident that they can dance well on stage but be insecure about public speaking or something they can't do yet! Build and support a Growth Mindset. I use picture books throughout the year to support growth mindsets. I love "Giraffes Can't Dance."



The work of Hattie and Marzano have changed the way I create interventions. They are considered by many to have unique insights into what it takes to have a huge impact on student learning and best practices. Want more high yield strategies--check out this.

Like with all interventions, their ideas take time to see results in the classroom and need data to support putting them in place. Let me know what whole class interventions you have put in place to get big changes.
8 Strategies Robert Marzano & John Hattie Agree On and how to you can recreate them in your class

Chat Soon,


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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