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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

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Last comment 2 days 4 hours ago
37 33,327 266,028 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 1 day 12 hours ago
170 163,912 1,345,338 views

Evaluating Project-Based Learning

Last comment 13 hours 18 min ago
8 870 11,155 views

6 Reasons Why Puppets Will Change Your Classroom Forever

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 10:00
13 7,584 21,194 views

Evaluating Project-Based Learning

Mon, 06/06/2016 - 06:00
8 870 11,155 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
170 163,912 1,345,338 views

Browse

Three young girls are standing beside each other wearing hats that say, "I heart math."
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6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Help students better understand math by presenting multiple examples, encouraging collaboration on alternative solutions, and framing the class with a clear agenda and effective summary.

48 3,742 25,635 views
A group of young students are sitting in a classroom looking towards an adult male. At the front of the class, the wall is yellow. A red and white stop sign is hanging on the wall next to another sign that says, "yield to pedestrian in crosswalk."
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6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life

Nonverbals are gestural cues that can help students quickly and respectfully communicate their reactions, needs, and levels of understanding in a fast-paced classroom.

10 4,151 47,637 views
A female adult wearing a green shirt and glasses is sitting beside a young female student in a red blouse. They're both looking at a laptop computer.
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Math Education: The Roots of Computer Science

Math matters for computer science because it teaches students how to use abstract language, work with algorithms, self-analyze their computational thinking, and accurately modeling real-world solutions.

2 507 3,030 views
A closeup of a high school girl sitting at a purple desk. She's writing, looking down at her paper. Other students are sitting behind her, slightly blurred.
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19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Emphasize the obvious, keep things fresh, and be honest. Showing students that it pays to behave and respecting them as individuals greatly enhance classroom management.

18 3,732 56,922 views
A closeup of a young kid blowing a big bubble. He's to the left of the photo, the top of his head out of frame, and his arm is in front of his face holding an orange plastic device to blow bubbles.
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The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

In her final post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests how educators can ease adolescent students' transition as their maturing brains redefine purpose and identity.

3 1,847 10,698 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
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Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

6 1,874 21,800 views
Someone's forearm is in the shot, and their index finger is touching a laptop screen, pointing at a frame within a video editing software. Another person's head is in the shot, blurred, looking at the computer screen.
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Integrating Technology and Literacy

A middle school language arts educator shares his favorite digital tools for text and video annotations, teacher feedback, and formative assessment.

37 1,670 21,598 views

Pages

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.

36 18,861 173,996 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 6,652 173,592 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 1,672 155,022 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.

15 9,195 143,516 views
A young girl is sitting in class, looking straight ahead with a playing card in her hand and a green sheet of paper on her desk. Other students in the classroom are sitting with green sheets of paper and playing cards about.
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Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities

Six key rules for student engagement include making it meaningful, fostering efficacy, autonomy support, collaborative learning, establishing positive teacher-student relationships, and mastery orientations.

19 10,510 139,479 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?

16 17,492 134,433 views
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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.

5 809 131,809 views

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