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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Lesson Plans

Want the nuts and bolts of how other teachers are presenting material? Find Edutopia-curated downloadable and linked resources here.

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Academic Sponge Activities

A "sponge activity" is a lesson soaking up precious time that would otherwise be lost. Hint: it should be fun as well as educational.

Five-Minute Film Festival: 10 Sources for Free Lesson Plans

Exploring free lesson planning resources can be overwhelming. Some are extremely useful, and others not so much. Here, VideoAmy shares a list of 10 of her favorite lesson planning tools available, as well as a playlist of videos to help teachers utilize them.

A Lesson About Cesar Chavez and Civil Rights

Check out this engaging lesson on Cesar Chavez that uses primary sources and discussion to inspire critical thinking and empathy.

Discuss

Igniting Student Engagement: A Roadmap for Learning

Last comment 4 weeks 5 hours ago
14 1,004 15,599 views

The Student-Centered Classroom: Communicating What Matters

Last comment 1 day 11 hours ago
5 668 6,206 views

Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners

Last comment 1 day 11 hours ago
16 3,876 14,160 views

Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 14:33
16 3,876 14,160 views

The Student-Centered Classroom: Communicating What Matters

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:00
5 668 6,206 views

Helping Students Start the Year with a Positive Mindset

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 09:52
11 1,719 54,053 views

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Building Formative Assessment into Game-Based Learning
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How a Classroom Game Becomes an Embedded Assessment

Guest blogger Ross Flatt, a sixth grade teacher at Quest to Learn, demonstrates how studying geography with Galactic Mappers can be a viable strategy for embedding assessment in a classroom game.

1 966 17,053 views
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Five-Minute Film Festival: 9 Videos for Exploring the Universe on Space Day

Space Day is celebrated in early May each year. For teachers and students interested in the universe, VideoAmy has collected some of the most fun videos and resources to bring astronomy into the classroom.

123 1,827 views
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Author Commentary That's Simply App Smashing

Guest blogger Ross Cooper, a fourth grade teacher with a creative approach to literature study, gets his students into the authors' heads by having them imagine an interview and then construct it via app smashing.

280 2,893 views
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Final Portfolios: Ending the Year with Meaning

Edutopia blogger Josh Block shares his final portfolios project, a year-end activity in which students review and reflect on their work to more fully understand what they've learned and how they've grown.

1 557 13,399 views
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Critical Thinking Toolbox: How to Brainstorm

Hans and Nathaniel Bluedorn, brothers who specialize in critical thinking, offer a simple, instructive, and amusing look at what it takes to brainstorm, including six suggestions for teaching students to develop this important collaborative skill.

305 3,350 views
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A Proposition for Handling Remainders Better - Please!

Edutopia blogger Jose Vilson says we're not doing math doing students any favors by sweeping remainders under the rug at the end of a division problem. He proposes three ways of examining what that remainder is.

2 121 3,502 views
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They Do Call It a "Play," Don't They?

Guest blogger Raleigh Werberger, a high school history and humanities teacher, shares a lesson plan for incorporating classical Greek drama into a PBL unit and folding kinesthetic learning into a study of history and language.

3 187 3,046 views

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Mixing Art + Politics -- Integrated Studies in High School
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Schools That Work: Mixing Art + Politics -- Integrated Studies in High School

Video: Teachers Dayna Laur (AP government) and Katlyn Wolfgang (art) at Central York High School in York, PA, share their strategies for creating successful integrated studies projects.

2 78 16,140 views
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Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

By exercising the "gratitude muscle" with a gratitude journal, students can harness positive thinking to increase their grades, goals, and quality of life.

6 5,962 15,987 views
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Writing Superhero Conclusions with the Phantom Endings Exercise

Guest Blogger Caroline Trull introduces phantom endings, an ELA compositional exercise that teaches students how a concluding paragraph works and how to write one.

4 250 15,987 views
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Igniting Student Engagement: A Roadmap for Learning

Key strategies to ensure student engagement include being authentic, introducing units with meaningful launch events, and letting students know what outcomes to expect.

14 1,004 15,599 views
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What Kind of Teacher Do You Want?

Guest blogger Philip McIntosh, a 7th grade learner-in-chief at Challenger Middle School in Colorado Springs, describes how students deeply engaged in a project when they had a personal stake in the data being evaluated.

14 255 15,074 views
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Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners

By engaging ELLs with creating, identifying, and narrating through photographs, you can help them learn language by challenging their thinking in other media.

16 3,876 14,160 views
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Avoiding the Summer Slide in Reading and Writing

Edutopia blogger Heather Wolpert-Gawron proposes ways to beat learning loss this summer such as creating an online forum where students post book reviews.

5 906 14,008 views

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