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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

English Language Arts

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in English language arts.
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Poetry Month: The Practical Applications of Self-Expression

Poetry can boost adolescents' language skills and fulfill their need for self-expression -- if presented as an art form that has relevance to their lives.

Word Up: The Must Dos of Vocabulary Instruction

Do you display words and use those words daily in class? Check out these five must dos for teaching vocabulary.

Igniting Student Writer Voice with Writing Process Strategies

Different strategies can motivate different kinds of writers. Try free writing or journaling for the prewrite, and the RAFT model or window activity for the draft.

A Hunger for Dystopia: Critical Thinking on the Journey to Self-Discovery

Contemporary dystopian fiction, including The Handmaid's Tale and The Hunger Games, offers young people a mirror for their society's fears, flaws, shortcomings, and injustices.

Start a Reading Revolution: Flip Your Class With Blogs

By adding blogs to a flipped ELA class, teachers present literacy as a design challenge where words, images, and format serve to express students' ideas.

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Pen Pals in the 21st Century

While many consider the pen pal an analog age artifact, blogger and teacher Lisa Mims demonstrates how this very human form of communication is alive and well in her classroom - and relevant to her curriculum.

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Engaging Pre-Service Teachers in Authentic Writing Instruction

Guest blogger Troy Hicks, a teacher educator at Central Michigan University, describes how he fosters inspiration and excitement about the craft of writing for future elementary and middle school educators.

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Strategic Modeling: Balancing Structure with Choice

High school humanities teacher Joshua Block describes how, through the practice of modeling, he dances on the balance point between giving his students too much structure or too many choices.

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Walking the Walk: An Educator's Perspective From All Views

Guest blogger Lori Desautels decides to walk the walk of her pre-service and graduate students at Marian University's School of Education as she returns to public school and co-teaches a brain-compatible curriculum to fifth graders.

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Writing and Thinking Through the Student User's Guide Assignment

Guest blogger Ashley Hutchinson, in collaboration with her colleagues Stephanie Noles and Mike Flinchbaugh, explain how their high school students now come with self-written user's guides.

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Brains, Brains, Brains! How the Mind of a Middle Schooler Works

Blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron launches this three-part series by advising middle school teachers to read up on brain research which will give insight on how the 'tween brain works.

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Common Core in Action: How Two Science Teachers are Implementing Common Core

Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller visits with two science teachers to learn how they are applying Common Core ELA standards to a subject not specifically addressed by the Common Core.

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PBL: What Does It Take for a Project to Be "Authentic"?

John Larmer of the Buck Institute for Education looks at the criteria determining whether or not project based learning is authentic, and how important this distinction might be.

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5 Ways Literature Can Teach Global Lessons in Elementary Classes

Guest blogger Becky Morales, creator of Kid World Citizen, offers five ideas for using literature about children and families in other parts of the world to broaden the minds of U.S. elementary students.

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STEM and Writing: A Super Combination

Read how a quantum physicist, who was a guest speaker in a language arts classroom, inspired the imagination and writing of the middle school students.

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Brain Movies: When Readers Can Picture It, They Understand It

Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, brain-based teaching program developers and authors, encourage us to boost students' reading retention by training them to visualize meaning as well as paying attention to the words themselves.

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From the Classroom: What Does Blended Learning Look Like?

Blogger Bob Lenz highlights one of his college students who uses blended learning in the special education class she teaches.

7 196 11,943 views
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Neuroscience and the Bilingual Brain

Blogger Judy Willis shares neuroscientific research suggesting that children growing up bilingual develop better focus and judgment.

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Introducing the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards

The International Reading Association's Virginia J. Goatley and Brenda Overturf introduce the ELA CCSS and provide context to those who are new to the standards.

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