Core Instruction


How would learning change if every student had access to a world-class teacher?

Effective teaching has a greater impact than any other factor: more than household income, English language proficiency, or race and ethnicity.

When teachers are working harder than ever before, but classroom grades still don’t line up with performance on state tests, or RTI and MTSS programs are overloaded with interventions, it’s time to rethink core instruction.

Here’s where The Essentials for Achieving Rigor comes in. Based on Marzano’s extensive framework in The Art & Science of Teaching, the Essentials instructional model zeroes in on only the most powerful strategies and how to implement them in real classrooms.

No dramatic curriculum shifts are required. The Essentials work for every grade level, any content, making the programs you have in place more effective.

What a difference rigor makes

Once teachers see results, there’s no holding them back.


Why is adding rigor so effective for sealing achievement gaps? How does making work more challenging help struggling students succeed?

Educators already know preparing students for college and careers means equipping them with critical-thinking skills. But LSI’s research into hundreds of classrooms and millions of data points suggests most teachers aren’t sure how to do that.

In most classrooms, most time is still spent on less challenging tasks.

All instructional strategies are not created equal

  • You don’t have to do it all.
  • You don’t have to do more.
  • You just have to do what works.
  • That’s why LSI offers only high-yield strategies.

Great teachers work hard; engaged students work even harder.

The secret of rigor isn’t that the content is tougher; it’s that the learning is more interesting. The Essentials of Achieving Rigor closes learning gaps by ensuring that instruction is student-centered and engaging.

Commit to deeper learning.

Develop students into engaged, self-directed problem solvers.


Read the research on how rigor impacts learning.

Explore instructional strategies and research.

Learn how one Michigan school leveraged The Essentials to close learning gaps.  


The Essentials distill the 64 instructional strategies in Dr. Robert J. Marzano’s The Art & Science of Teaching to bring you only the most powerful strategies for deep learning.

We’ve broken these core strategies into a series of 12 trainings that focus on areas such as facilitating complex learning, deepening core instruction, and creating conditions for learning.

PD on the Essentials...

  • Provides a model of standards-based planning
  • Offers research-based instructional strategies
  • Lays out the rationale quickly
  • Focuses intensely on how to implement the strategies
  • Emphasizes practice and modeling
  • Is 100% compatible with curricula and programs already in place
  • Aligns with coaching and leadership services
  • Integrates with LSI’s technology

Shorten the road to student achievement.

Teachers will find the content-neutral, classroom-centered skills they’ve been craving to make learning soar. Administrators will find a proven solution to put a world-class teacher in every classroom.


Learn more about how the Essentials develop world-class teachers, and check out related tools to help scale implementation and teacher growth across an entire school or district.

Read details of individual workshops.

Focus team time on honing instruction with Growth Tracker.

Scaffold PD learning with print resources.

Build standards-based lessons with Standards Tracker.