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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 1 day 14 hours ago
37 33,327 266,028 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 22 hours 50 min ago
170 163,912 1,345,338 views

Building Staff Rapport With Flash Lessons

Last comment 1 week 11 hours ago
23 5,892 33,911 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
170 163,912 1,345,338 views

First Day of Kindergarten: 8 Survival Skills

Fri, 08/23/2013 - 10:45
14 476 78,722 views

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 06:00
37 33,327 266,028 views

Browse

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 2,221 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 2,536 14,937 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.

2 166 7,462 views
A group of six young students are standing alongside a long table with art paper stretched across it. Each student is wearing a long, white apron and is drawing on the paper with markers.
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SEL Is Good Teaching

If you're engaging all students in classroom discussions, offering them responsibility and choice, and communicating with warmth and support, you may already be teaching SEL.

2 185 1,615 views
A large pile of red, white, and blue starred pins that say VOTE 2016
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Politics: The Great Pumpkin

Discussing politics is often considered a social risk, but it's possible in the classroom by separating out the candidates, issues, process, and outcome.

20 827 views
Four girls working as a team in front of a whiteboard
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Judgment: Navigating Choices and Decisions

Adolescents need guidance in learning judgment -- academic-cognitive and social-emotional -- while their prefrontal cortex is transitioning into a more efficient network for making decisions and achieving goals.

71 1,615 views
Six preteen students are standing on their classroom desks, smiling, and one student is sitting.
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Building Staff Rapport With Flash Lessons

A hands-on administrator asks teachers to become students for a class period and, at his prompting, model trust, academic risk taking, and camaraderie.

23 5,892 33,911 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.

14 21,287 273,307 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.

37 33,327 266,028 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 1,549 254,131 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 18,969 212,146 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 1,554 211,338 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 5,095 191,759 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 1,426 181,666 views

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