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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

8 Weeks of Free Teacher Resources for Back to School

All of Edutopia’s downloadable and printable back-to-school resources are collected here for easy classroom reference. Check back weekly for updates!

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Week 1: Become a Transformational Teacher

Start with “4 Big Things Transformational Teachers Do” to read all 10 blog posts in this series.

Classroom Downloads:

What Does Transformational Teaching Look Like?

Download this tip list with details on 6 steps to transformational teaching. Read more about these strategies in the associated post: “4 Big Things Transformational Teachers Do.”

9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons

Download this poster with 9 great lesson-planning tips. Read more about these planning strategies in the associated post: “9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons: Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever.”

53 Ways to Check for Understanding

Download a big, printable list of assessment strategies. Read more about these strategies in the associated post: "Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding."

Unit Plan

Download this unit-planning checklist for step-by-step guidance on tweaking or overhauling the big elements of a unit plan. Read more about these strategies in the associated post: "Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever."


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Week 2: Redesign Your Classroom Space

Start with "Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces" to read all 5 blog posts in this series.

Classroom Downloads:

7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have!

Download a printable graphic with information about creating 7 different learning zones. Read more about the benefits of creating classroom learning zones in the associated post: "7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have."

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Week 3: Establish a Positive Community

Start with "Developing Students’ Trust: The Key to a Learning Partnership" to read all 8 blog posts in this series.

Classroom Downloads:

How to Remember Names

Download a tip sheet with 7 useful tips for remembering students’ names. Read more about these memory strategies in the associated post: "What Did You Call Me? -- How to Remember Students’ Names."

Self-Assessment Questions for Social & Emotional Development

Download this list of questions and two associated documents, a self-assessment rubric and a goals worksheet, to support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning. Read more about all three tools in the associated post: "Self-Assessment Inspires Learning."

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Week 4: Create an Inquiry-Based Classroom

Start with "5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners" to read all 8 blog posts in this series. "7 Questions to Ask Parents at the Beginning of the Year" is a great reference for initial conversations with parents and guardians.

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Week 5: Inspiring Student Engagement

Start with "New Study: Engage Kids with 7x the Effect" to read all 8 blog posts in this series. You may want to print "A Checklist for Back to School Night" as you prepare for the big night.


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Week 6: Supporting Diverse Learners

Start with "Meeting the Needs of All Students: A First Step" to read all 6 blog posts in the series.

Classroom Downloads:

Tips for Helping all Learners Succeed

Download a printable reference that includes guidance on reaching and supporting diverse learners. Read more about these tips in the associated post: "Helping Diverse Learners Succeed."

Strategies to Support English-Language Learners

Download a classroom tip sheet on supporting English-Language Learners. Read more about these strategies in the associated post: "Strategies and Resources for Supporting English-Language Learners."

Sponge Activities

Sometimes even well-planned lessons fail. Download this list of sponge activities to help you cope with the unexpected and re-engage your students. Learn more about how to put rough days in perspective and recalibrate in the associated post: "Academic Sponge Activities."


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Week 7: Classroom Management

Start with "Back to School: Rules and Routines in the Classroom" to read all 7 blog posts in this series. You may want to print out "4 Early-Year Keys for Effective Classroom Discipline" as a guide to several strategies for setting the proper tone at the beginning of the year.

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