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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Teaching Strategies

Discover and share best practices for improving your teaching craft -- delivering instruction, engaging students, reaching struggling students, and more.

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Teacher at the chalkboard looking toward students

Feedback for Thinking: Working for the Answer

Instead of helping students by giving them the answers, encourage them to think independently by supplementing your modeling with questions, prompts, and cues.

Laughter and Learning: Humor Boosts Retention

Humor activates the brain's dopamine reward system, stimulating goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory, which means that humor can improve retention in students of all ages.

a photo of a stopwatch

The 8 Minutes That Matter Most

Like a story, lessons deserve compelling beginnings and endings. From pop culture connections to finishing with a level-up, here are eight strategies for holding students' attention.

It’s a Mistake Not to Use Mistakes as Part of the Learning Process

Consider these nine ways to teach with mistakes, including removing the stigma from error, explaining wrong answers, and helping students see mistakes as growth experiences.

On-the-Spot Scaffolding for Students

On-the-spot scaffolding is an essential skill for teachers. Check out these three strategies for assisting students when they struggle.

Discuss

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Last comment 16 hours 16 min ago
66 66,001 594,195 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 1 day 7 hours ago
182 168,512 1,387,694 views

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Last comment 1 day 4 hours ago
7 2,566 20,895 views

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 06:00
66 66,001 594,195 views

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 06:00
7 2,566 20,895 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
182 168,512 1,387,694 views

Browse

Three high-school teens are sitting next to each other on a couch, two girls on the left and a boy on the right. The girl in the middle has a laptop on her lap that they're all looking at.
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Evaluation Within Project-Based Learning

Because PBL is about more than learning content, PBL teachers should investigate and experiment with multi-model strategies for assessing their students' learning skills.

8 973 12,792 views
A young boy in a large-striped red and blue polar shirt is sitting at his desk with his head down in a book.
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What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Literacy strategies that waste instructional time include looking up words on lists, prizes for reading, weekly spelling tests, unsupported independent reading, and denial of recess.

66 66,001 594,195 views
A female teacher is sitting cross-legged on a stage, and students are standing, talking to each nearby in costumes.
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Who Is Your Warm Demander Role Model?

When encouraging a student to be his or her best, channel the pop culture figure who best embodies your resolve and respect, whether it's Coach Carter or Yoda.

5 59 3,099 views
A group of young students are standing in a line on dead grass. It's overcast. There are bare-branched trees and a river nearby. They're holding black and green tablets. Their male teacher is holding antlers, letting the students take turns touching it.
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6 Tips for Engaging Capstone Projects

Rather than creating a year-in-review capstone project, consider having students synthesize and personalize what they've learned, bringing it to a new level.

44 1,033 views
A U.S. army soldier in uniform is kneeling, reading to a group of young kids around him.
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Understanding the Needs of Students From Military Families

Children of military and veteran families need to be understand, have their assets celebrated, and be part of a positive school climate. Use the resources we suggest to educate yourself about and identify your military-connected students.

1 664 2,273 views
Girl sitting at her desk in deep thought, writing
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7 Reflection Tips for Assessment, Empowerment, and Self-Awareness

Through being reflective about your own teaching practices, model and guide students toward a more reflective approach to their projects, grades, actions, and reactions.

7 2,575 16,299 views
A closeup of a female high school student sitting at a desk taking a test.
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Reimagining School Writing

Move beyond the five-paragraph essay. Bring school writing to life through freewriting, peer reviews, and allowing students to include relevant memories and vivid descriptions.

3 254 9,491 views

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A side shot of a young female teacher in glasses and a green shirt looking out of a window.
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The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

By incorporating facts, novelty, examples, analogies, and emotion; and cycling content, telling content-related stories, and making lessons multisensory, we can make learning easier for our students.

16 25,027 325,157 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 17,145 278,529 views
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Bell Ringer Exercises

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley presents an overview of bell work - short, focused exercises to help students make the most of valuable classroom time.

26 1,550 258,104 views
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Using Webb's Depth of Knowledge to Increase Rigor

Norman Webb's Depth of Knowledge Levels is a system that categorizes tasks according to the complexity of thinking required to successfully complete them.

6 1,579 216,427 views
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3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly

Guest blogger Ali Parrish, educator and ed tech consultant, provides three strategies, low-tech and high-tech, for breaking through students' brain freeze when faced with the dilemma of what to write.

40 18,980 212,507 views
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5 Ways to Make Class Discussions More Exciting

Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin proposes five strategies, including use of props and questionnaires, to make classroom discussions more exciting.

10 5,102 201,779 views
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11 Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary

Learning and memory specialist Marilee Sprenger writes about vocabulary critical to the Common Core and offers 11 strategies for helping students learn it.

25 1,428 185,067 views

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