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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.

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30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

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Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves

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Hands-Off Teaching Cultivates Metacognition

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Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths

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Learning to Work and Think Like an Artist

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Teach Empathy With Digital Immigration Stories

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Starting Student Feedback Loops

A feedback loop is a process of checking for and affirming understanding that is specific, non-evaluative, manageable, and focused on a learning target.

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PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

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Teachers Are in Control: Myth-Busting DI, Part 4

Crafting meaningful choices for students engages them in learning and lightens the teacher's burden of appearing to be in complete control (which rarely works anyway).

6 303 7,660 views
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Thriving in the Homestretch

As the year winds down, teachers might consider holding class outdoors, treating themselves kindly, reflecting on what worked, assigning fun projects, and checking in with peers.

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Avoiding "Learned Helplessness"

Take responsibility for empowering students, and avoid the schooling habits that train them to seek a single right answer instead of exploring the learning process.

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Assessment: Lower Stakes, Raise Retention

Students learn better through retrieval-enhanced learning which can be practiced with smaller quizzes, daily questions, opportunities for reflection, and personalized oral quizzes.

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Reframing Teacher Voice

Effective teachers, rather than being stern and in control, are able to honor the group, connect with individuals, and be fair, reasonable, respectful, thoughtful, and real.

4 198 7,403 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.

35 3,914 144,802 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.

25 965 133,039 views
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5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools

With tools like Socrative, Kahoot, Zaption, Chatzy, and Plickers, teachers can use tech for immediate feedback about how students are learning and understanding the lesson.

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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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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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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 3,969 110,055 views
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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.

5 1,377 109,649 views

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