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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Back to School

It's a brand-new year, chock-full of new opportunities! Gear up with strategies, tools, and resources for heading back to school.

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7 Questions to Ask Parents at the Beginning of the Year

Seven questions to ask parents at the start of the year with the intention of building a partnership to support their child's learning.

A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

Mark Phillips suggests that a critical piece of student learning is the physical environment of the classroom itself. He offers examples of and resources for turning impersonal spaces into student-friendly havens of learning.

Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community

Anne Shaw highlights a fun, beginning-of-the-year strategy that includes a roll of toilet paper.

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.

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A Checklist for Back-to-School Night

Back-to-School Night is often the first interaction a teacher has with parents and guardians. Here's a helpful checklist for educators of five must-haves for this special night.

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Meeting the Needs of All Students: A First Step

Edutopia blogger Elena Aguilar encourages teachers to confront their own biases so they connect more deeply with each child in their classrooms.

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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.

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Boom-Bang Homework Assignments

Students are more likely to do homework if the assignments are engaging, relevant, and reasonable -- and if the teacher makes them accountable for it.

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New Study: Engage Kids With 7x the Effect

The way to engage students is to make sure that they care about the material and that they know how much you care about them.

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Auditory Awareness: Are Students Hearing the Lesson?

Teachers who are acoustically aware can do a lot to help students hear more clearly. Read tips on how to do this and also suggestions for minimizing noise distractions in and out of the classroom.

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Getting Into the PBL Groove

Let your students know from day one that they're in a PBL classroom by defining PBL and setting the tone for collaboration, critique, and questioning.

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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.

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Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces

From innovative, intelligent seating arrangements to relevant, engaging bulletin boards, your students deserve a classroom space that stimulates and facilitates their learning.

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7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have

As you plan next year's curriculum and activities, consider how you'll use your classroom space. Here are seven learning zones to help focus your students.

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Teachers: Five Ways to Ease Back into School

Does the thought of returning to school result in a tense knot in your stomach or a joyful flutter in your heart? Strategies to manage those feelings, focus on the possibilities, and ease back into the rhythm of teaching.

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Back to School: Preparing for Day One

Six tips for helping both new and seasoned teachers have a successful first day of school.

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5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

Asking a question can be a scary step into the void. How do you create a culture of using questioning in the classroom?

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Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom-Management Tips

In the first of two excerpts from his latest book, teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo offers some classroom-management tips that are positive, not punitive.

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