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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

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms

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Year One With a 3D Printer: 17 Tips

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Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

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Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers

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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

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Curiosity: The Force Within a Hungry Mind

Stimulate your students' curiosity by encouraging valuable questions and tinkering, looking for teachable moments, and building lessons around current events and critical thinking.

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Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Strengthen your students' conscious processing of information with techniques like repetition, gamification, visualization, emphasizing relevance, and peer teaching.

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Teaching Empathy: Are We Teaching Content or Students?

Teaching empathy is about teaching students, not content -- how they feel about the incoming knowledge will ultimately determine how useful it is to them.

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Differentiation Is Just Too Difficult: Myth-Busting DI Part 3

Most teachers differentiate their instruction intuitively because not all students are the same. For those willing to commit to DI, the next step is intentional differentiation.

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3 Strategies for Authentic Race, Class, and Gender Discussions

When discussing potentially divisive issues, create an environment that supports agreement, guide the conversation with thoughtful questions, and actively listen to what others say.

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Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks

By adding a fun, creative element of focus and stillness to a classroom routine, you can help your students learn to appreciate and practice self-regulation.

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Integrated Studies: Sustainability and Cross-Curricular Connections
Schools That Work

Integrated Studies: Sustainability and Cross-Curricular Connections

By connecting the theme of sustainability across multiple disciplines, the teachers at Montpelier High School have built a robust, integrated teaching approach that engages students and creates community.

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Don't Reinvent the Wheel: Seven Tips for New Elementary Teachers to Save Energy, Time, and Tears

Professional development specialist Otis Kriegel offers seven logistical tips for new elementary teachers to help them relax and stay focused on delivering the best possible instruction.

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There's No Time to Differentiate: Myth-Busting DI, Part 2

Make time for differentiated instruction with small learning teams, daily formative assessments, and managed activities that differentiated content, process, and products.

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Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation and Growth Mindset in Writing

To engage your students with their own development as writers, motivate them to care by showing your own interest and engagement with their process.

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Beyond Q+A: Six Strategies That Motivate ALL Students to Participate

Teacher and author Maddie Witter offers six strategies to increase student participation - especially among those students who are generally too shy or withdrawn to speak up.

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When High School Students Struggle with Textbook Reading

Many textbooks aren't even close to authentic reading experiences. Minimize student struggle by identifying purpose, assigning reasonable homework, and teaching them to self-monitor for understanding.

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Formative Assessment Is Transformational!

More than just numbers in a grade book, formative assessment practices can change how you teach, how your students learn, and how your classroom functions.

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12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Embarrassing or belittling students may interfere with learning and lead to long-term resentment. Teachers should treat students respectfully and be mindful of their feelings.

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