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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 9 hours 6 min ago
69 66,001 670,979 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 5 hours 42 min ago
186 171,812 1,428,295 views

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Last comment 1 day 12 hours ago
8 2,950 24,515 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
186 171,812 1,428,295 views

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:00
9 1,195 views

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 06:00
69 66,001 670,979 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.

50 3,880 26,980 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 5,989 50,017 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.

2 519 3,944 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.

21 6,559 79,073 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 2,628 10,792 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 2,437 21,584 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.

42 1,914 23,660 views

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Two teenagers are sitting at a table with a laptop, one is holding a cell phone charger and the other is holding a cell phone, connecting it to a white wire.
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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.

9 16,821 131,996 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 1,185 131,996 views
Graphic of a wide-eyed owl
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Student Engagement: Resource Roundup

Keeping students captivated and ready to learn is no small task. Here's a list of articles, videos, and other resources that offer strategies and advice for keeping them engaged in learning.

4 3,079 128,883 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.

21 10,621 117,468 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 17,213 116,223 views
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Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

By teaching students to "drive their own brain" through metacognition, we provide a concrete way to guide them think about how they can best learn.

76 20,287 114,770 views
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5 Research-Based Tips for Providing Students with Meaningful Feedback

Teacher feedback must be informative and encouraging for students to fully understand whether they're learning and what they can do to improve the learning process.

21 6,069 114,770 views

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