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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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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.

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

Challenges in Education: A Student's-Eye View

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Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

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Digital Portfolios: The Art of Reflection

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Point of Entry: Poetry in the Classroom

Poetry is a versatile medium for the classroom, useful for student introduction and reflection, word study, characterization, the mechanics of writing, and examining larger themes.

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OK, You're On: The Classroom as Theater

All the world is a stage, including your classroom. Think about teaching as a dramatic act as you consider director, cast, choreography, set design, and lighting.

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Using Games for Assessment

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Managing Game-Based Learning in the Classroom
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Managing In-Class Gameplay

Whatever your classroom management style, in-class games can work when you invoke your usual rules, assign student roles, facilitate effectively, and allow processing time.

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"Rolling Out" a Game in the Classroom
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"Rolling Out" a Game

Teachers have a number of options for introducing students to a new game-based lesson, including the fishbowl, playing together, and beginning with a simplified version.

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Challenges in Education: A Student's-Eye View

In response to recent findings that students' academic results are impaired by stress and self-doubt, here are three ways to help them reframe how learning works.

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Deeper Learning in Practice

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3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly

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5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools

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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.

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11 Alternatives to "Round Robin" (and "Popcorn") Reading

Rather than intimidating young readers with ancient pedagogy, encourage and empower them with livelier strategies such as partner reading or the manic Crazy Professor Game.

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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.

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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.

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Integrating the 16 Habits of Mind

Edutopia blogger Terry Heick provides a quick tour of Costa and Kallick's 16 Habits of Mind, along with suggestions for integrating them as classroom best practices.

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