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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

Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset

Last comment 1 week 14 hours ago
14 4,103 35,506 views

Not Just Group Work -- Productive Group Work!

Last comment 1 day 11 hours ago
31 592 21,930 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Last comment 2 days 5 hours ago
9 381 4,439 views

12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:00
24 7,580 49,743 views

When Grading Harms Student Learning

Mon, 11/23/2015 - 06:00
25 14,284 66,323 views

Strategies to Help Struggling Writers

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 10:00
9 3,202 13,550 views

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black and white photo of a student at a desk looking at the camera
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Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths

With delivery of instruction, one size does not fit all. John McCarthy launches his differentiated instruction series by busting three common myths about DI.

42 5,257 83,083 views
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Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners

By engaging ELLs with creating, identifying, and narrating through photographs, you can help them learn language by challenging their thinking in other media.

23 9,054 28,883 views
Young boy speaking, almost hidden by the podium he's standing behind
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Calling All Students to the Front, Please

The front of the classroom is a power spot. Through empathy and recognizing student agency, you can make it a positive place for them to inhabit.

4 3,216 6,418 views
Two boys sitting in the hallway writing in their notebooks, talking, and smiling
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The Student-Centered Classroom: Communicating What Matters

Students' ownership of the classroom and learning begins when you communicate that you're listening, that you respect them, and that they can trust you.

5 4,833 11,410 views
Mathis in active dialogue with students sitting in circle on the floor with hands raised
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Inquiry-Based Learning: The Power of Asking the Right Questions

An inquiry-based curriculum requires both planning and flexibility, as well as a teacher knowing the students well enough to anticipate their interests and limits.

4 6,760 22,286 views
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5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

Asking a question can be a scary step into the void. How do you create a culture of using questioning in the classroom?

21 5,169 77,199 views
Student presenting in front of the class
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Cultivating Creativity in Standards-Based Classrooms

Even in a highly-structured classroom environment, you can foster creativity with strategies like possibility thinking, divergent thinking, encouraging student interests, and collaborative learning.

3 966 6,061 views

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Students working together in class.
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How Collaborative Learning Leads to Student Success

Encouraging students to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge builds collaborative skills and leads to deeper learning at The College Preparatory School.

9 466 44,216 views
Two young students wearing safety goggles; one pouring liquid into a beaker
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Igniting Student Engagement: A Roadmap for Learning

Key strategies to ensure student engagement include being authentic, introducing units with meaningful launch events, and letting students know what outcomes to expect.

19 2,602 41,720 views
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Metacognition: Nurturing Self-Awareness in the Classroom

When students practice metacognition, the act of thinking about their thinking helps them make greater sense of their life experiences and start achieving at higher levels.

21 5,787 41,006 views
A photo of an elementary-school boy writing in his notebook.
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Strategies for Getting and Keeping the Brain’s Attention

Holding students' attention is about activating the right neural network. Strategies include recognizing how focus feels, giving incentives, and adjusting the pace of your teaching.

42 6,062 41,006 views
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Your Lesson's First Five Minutes: Make Them Grand

Educator, author and blogger Rick Curwin explains why and how to grab your students' attention for the first five minutes of each lesson.

6 1,745 41,006 views
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Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

The good curriculum is in the details, so focus your teacher super powers on the granular aspects of planning ahead for the new school year.

7 428 40,828 views
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Rethinking Whole Class Discussion

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley considers whole class discussion and presents ample research about what works best.

10 1,119 40,828 views

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