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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

Not Just Group Work -- Productive Group Work!

Last comment 3 days 7 hours ago
33 592 22,717 views

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

Last comment 2 days 13 hours ago
11 381 5,579 views

12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Last comment 2 days 18 hours ago
26 7,590 50,264 views

4 Strategies to Help ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 06:00
13 4,651 25,400 views

Come Along and Ride on a Google Expedition

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 06:00
1 290 4,290 views

Conversing, Consulting, and Creating

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:00
7 858 2,684 views

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A closeup of a teenage girl with long, brown, curly hair, smiling, her hands covering her mouth.
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Gifts That Last a Lifetime

As we gear up for another new year, it's worth reflecting on the many gifts that teachers share on a daily basis.

2 98 1,609 views
A young, teenage girl in a white collared shirt, blue and red checkered tie, and a blue jacket is standing, smiling, with trees as her backdrop.
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Behavior Expectations and How to Teach Them

Instead of assigning disciplinary consequences when students don't meet behavior expectations, why not deal them as we would deal with academic failures and missteps?

15 6,892 57,598 views
A side shot of a young female teacher in glasses and a green shirt looking out of a window.
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The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

By incorporating facts, novelty, examples, analogies, and emotion; and cycling content, telling content-related stories, and making lessons multisensory, we can make learning easier for our students.

9 5,603 59,208 views
A young girl is sitting, looking at something in front of her and smiling. She has a yellow crayon in one hand and her other hand is palm down on a worksheet. A young boy is sitting a couple feet away from her at the same table, looking at the same thing.
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5 Tips for Making Group Work Manageable

Encourage small-group effectiveness by clarifying the task, focusing on production, modeling successful behavior, monitoring progress, time, and noise, and building community.

8 1,628 8,759 views
A young red-headed boy is sitting at his desk looking at his laptop, his chin resting on one hand and his other hand on the laptop keyboard.
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Student Letters Deliver Heightened Engagement

Asking students to write you a weekly letter helps you answer their questions, coach them on ELA skills, and learn more about them as people.

7 2,358 8,044 views
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22 Powerful Closure Activities

Closure ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression, so make it fun. Students will better retain information reinforced with music, movement, art, or play.

7 13,513 80,494 views
A teacher is sitting at a small table, smiling at his laptop. His cell phone is beside him on the table, connected to his laptop.
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Empowering Teachers With Tech-Friendly Formative Assessment Tools

By locating the right tool and building data collection into your routine, you can easily have the formative assessment data you need for responding to student understanding.

2 2,532 17,172 views

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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 6,385 147,930 views
An illustration of a brain in a hammock between 2 palm trees.
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Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

Here are some activities to stimulate your students' minds when they need a change, and to focus and calm them when they're just too stimulated.

34 17,188 142,027 views
Animated student explaining something to teacher standing across desk
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4 Things Transformational Teachers Do

Transformational teachers create experiences in their classrooms, melding the art and science of any subject and making their students care about learning.

13 9,008 132,904 views
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Do's & Don'ts For Teaching English-Language Learners

In an excerpt from his book with fellow teacher Katie Hull Sypnieski, blogger Larry Ferlazzo looks at a few basic ways to reach students who are learning English as well as the subject at hand.

21 1,501 128,611 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 1,141 123,603 views
A photo of a full bowl of water, with one drop going into it.
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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.

21 17,105 113,407 views
Male teacher scratching his head surrounded by students having a balled up paper fight
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Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom-Management Tips

In the first of two excerpts from his latest book, teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo offers some classroom-management tips that are positive, not punitive.

18 10,500 110,187 views

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