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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 16 hours 31 min ago
37 33,327 260,942 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 40 min 43 sec ago
170 163,912 1,344,216 views

Building Staff Rapport With Flash Lessons

Last comment 6 days 12 hours ago
23 5,882 33,883 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
170 163,912 1,344,216 views

First Day of Kindergarten: 8 Survival Skills

Fri, 08/23/2013 - 10:45
14 476 78,656 views

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 06:00
37 33,327 260,942 views

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A male teacher is sitting next to a female student. The student is pointing to a page on an open textbook, talking. There is artwork on the wall behind them.
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Creating a Writers' Workshop in a Secondary Classroom

With the station rotation model, secondary students can focus on language arts skills such as analysis, structure, and academic writing while improving their overall writing quality.

30 3,632 21,983 views
A black and white closeup of a hand holding a cell phone with a QR code on the screen.
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QR Codes: Pushing the Narrative on Scannables

QR codes still have a place in the classroom, leveraging deeper learning by giving students the ability to access, curate, engage with, and share teacher-selected content.

2 205 2,824 views
A closeup of a teenage girl sitting slouched, resting her head in her cupped hands. She's looking up and to the side with tears in her eyes. She's sitting in a naturally lit room with couches, comfy chairs, coffee tables, and a small, potted tree.
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Helping Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

To help a student who's experienced trauma, ground yourself emotionally, determine your own role, and address that student's emotional truth from a place of informed support.

8 1,715 12,908 views
A black and white closeup of the back of a young man sitting at a long table towards the back of a classroom. He's looking toward the front of the classroom, and there's one other student sitting two tables ahead of him to the right.
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Strategies for Reaching Quiet, Disengaged, Struggling, and Troublemaking Students

Not every student benefits from in-class participation, immediate answers, inflexible grading, or harsh consequences. Learn the nuances for those requiring deeper recognition and a lighter touch.

10 4,430 43,160 views
Three students wearing white collared shirts with a purple tie and vest are looking up toward the same direction. One of them is raising their hand, and another is putting a blue Post-It on the wall next to other blue Post-Its with writing on them.
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Teaching Writing or Editing Writing?

Instead of being their editor, teach students the craft of writing through ongoing feedback, freedom to experiment, self-editing skills, strengthening content and ideas, and encouraging reflection.

9 312 4,637 views
Four young girls are sitting, writing at their desks. Five young students are standing by a projector at the front of the class, pointing at the screen, which is projecting four different sentences marked with blue marker.
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Tools for Differentiating Instruction in PBL

Differentiate the content, process, and product of your PBL lessons with tools and practices like Learning Profile Cards, narrative feedback, and design thinking.

1 2,046 20,975 views
A black and white image of a young, long-haired woman sitting on the floor against a white wall, looking towards two other women sitting on the floor.
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Questioning That Deepens Comprehension

Scaffold students' thinking about complex texts by asking what the text says, how it works, what it means, and what it inspires them to do.

2 4,483 30,656 views

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The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain

Studies show that note-taking with pen or pencil is critical to processing and representing information, something that students lose when tapping on a keyboard.

46 16,313 97,211 views
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Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving

To better understand how educating individuals can make a global difference, consider what we should stop doing, what we should start doing, and what we should continue doing.

27 6,644 95,799 views
Two young adults wearing backpacks are walking outside, laughing, with jackets in their hands.
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5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Non-Teaching Time

Nobody can "make time," but here are five smart ways to make better use of your non-teaching time with more efficiency and a lot less stress.

13 9,718 95,396 views
A closeup of a stack of blue, old, faded books on a circular table.
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When Grading Harms Student Learning

Instead of issuing zeros, penalizing late work, and grading formative assessments, teachers should make the classroom a place of hope instead of fear.

29 22,159 93,581 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 5,588 90,959 views
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.

50 5,271 88,740 views
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Getting Started With Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)

If you're new to project-based learning, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller eases you into the approach with four suggestions to help you stay sane and begin mastering PBL.

7 254 80,875 views

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