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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.


Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving

Last comment 5 days 16 hours ago
18 3,733 57,350 views

Getting Started With Game-Based Language Learning

Last comment 2 weeks 1 day ago
17 1,980 7,210 views

Making Failure Harder Work Than Passing

Last comment 1 day 18 hours ago
18 3,544 41,244 views

Making Failure Harder Work Than Passing

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:00
18 3,544 41,244 views

Troubleshooting PBL

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:00

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
150 130,318 1,014,842 views



3 PBL Practices to Empower Students

Empower students in PBL settings by framing the purpose for learning, intentionally structuring collaboration and choice, and using appropriate scaffolds for learning and revision.

2,017 6,921 views

Homer Meets High-Tech: Data Visualization and the Classics

One teacher spiced up "The Iliad" with data visualization, inspiring middle school students to take a fresh look at narrative, themes, characterizations, and methods of fact-based inquiry.

4 1,041 5,997 views

Empathy in the Classroom: Why Should I Care?

The benefits of empathy in education include building positive classroom culture, strengthening community, and preparing students to be leaders in their own communities.

6 5,994 9,074 views

Kitchen Table Connections (or 5 Ideas to Re-Envision Homework)

Rather than mindless or irrelevant busywork, homework should invite students to learn what they can from their home life and take it back to school.

3 3,846 14,428 views

Financial Literacy: Make the Money "Real"

To make money less of an abstract concept, give students hands-on financial literacy experiences through simulations, games, and real-world entrepreneurial projects.

4 906 4,327 views

Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving

To better understand how educating individuals can make a global difference, consider what we should stop doing, what we should start doing, and what we should continue doing.

18 3,733 57,350 views

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Non-Teaching Time

Nobody can "make time," but here are five smart ways to make better use of your non-teaching time with more efficiency and a lot less stress.

13 9,304 85,003 views



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 1,453 228,017 views

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.

57 35,728 226,172 views

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.

38 17,057 194,149 views

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 1,498 166,318 views

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 1,265 161,121 views

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 5,088 148,546 views

9 Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics

Guest blogger Alfred Posamentier, Dean of Mercy College's School of Education, presents nine intrinsic motivation strategies for engaging students in secondary math classes.

10 6,321 134,966 views


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