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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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Best Resources for New Teachers

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6 Non-Teaching Books Every Teacher Should Read

Last comment 5 days 17 hours ago
33 15,197 189,928 views

Need Help Setting Up a Classroom

Last comment 2 weeks 3 days ago
3 36 views

Resources

Back-to-School Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of back-to-school resources on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest to help you start the year off strong.

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9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons: Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

Transformational lessons don't just happen. They require planning, mindfulness, and a commitment to shift away from educational approaches of the past.

16 3,817 71,977 views
A teacher is smiling, sitting at a classroom table with four young kids. They're building things out of pipe cleaners, Kleenex boxes, and toilet paper roles.
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Resources for Creating a Radically Compassionate Classroom

As you ponder curriculum, seating, and policies, here are some ideas and resources to consider that will assist you in making your class a welcoming, safe, and inclusive space for your students.

2,558 views
An adult male in a suit is sitting on a tall white chair in a small, carpeted library, talking to a large group of seated adults and students.
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Summer Prep for Back to School: Resources for School Leaders

Explore resources from Edutopia and the web that support school leaders -- including principals and other administrators -- as they guide school communities into a new school year.

1 3,208 17,474 views
A closeup of markers, pencils, and pens in a mesh metal pen cup.
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Best Resources for New Teachers

Explore some of the best resources for novice teachers from a variety of sources, including advice on classroom management, lesson planning, and building relationships with parents.

17 1,800 43,061 views
Eight elementary-age students are smiling, running out of the school building through three opened doors.
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Transition Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Administrators

Matt Davis has highlighted resources for parents, teachers, and administrators that can help students make the transition into elementary, middle, and high school -- and beyond.

6 1,441 35,572 views
photo of a student examining a science project
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Back-to-School Products Designed by Students for Students

Check out when students get to see the products they imagine go all the way through the design and manufacturing process.

472 1,872 views
image of a young student using binoculars
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Elementary Classroom: Making the Most of the First Month

Check out these important activities for developing community and learning goals with elementary school students.

2 474 3,331 views

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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

Through alternative formative assessment, teachers can check for student understanding without falling back on the tedious or intimidating pop quiz.

43 27,780 436,231 views
Young boy sitting close between man and woman at a table with a teacher sitting across from them holding a pen with an open notebook
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Parents: 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child's Teacher

Forget about all the vague, superficial information out there. Edutopia blogger Terry Heick cuts to the chase with 19 meaningful questions parents can ask their children's teachers at the beginning of the school year.

40 11,113 312,039 views
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8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom

David Bill, who's spent the past three years helping teachers redesign classroom spaces, offers eight tips and tricks to remake your room.

27 17,174 280,003 views
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A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

Edutopia blogger 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.

41 24,549 193,256 views
Illo of a girl holding a cell phone to her ear
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The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home

Blogger Elena Aguilar proposes that teachers make positive phone calls home common practice.

53 39,134 170,789 views
Animated student explaining something to teacher standing across desk
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4 Things Transformational Teachers Do

Transformational teachers create experiences in their classrooms, melding the art and science of any subject and making their students care about learning.

17 9,204 144,994 views
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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.

5 813 138,337 views

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