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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

6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Last comment 1 day 12 hours ago
23 39 12,901 views

19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Last comment 4 days 7 hours ago
12 3,341 33,160 views

Integrating Technology and Literacy

Last comment 1 day 13 hours ago
19 1,554 18,559 views

6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 10:00
8 12,772 views

Islands of Personality and Trains of Thought

Tue, 03/22/2016 - 06:00
7 1,051 12,628 views

Simple Music Integration for Primary Classrooms

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 10:00
4 2,973 2,485 views

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A young boy in a red shirt is sitting outside with a building behind him. His knees are up close to his chest with a with a blue notebook resting against them. He's smiling, writing in his notebook.
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5 Engaging Uses for Letters in Your Classroom

In an age of texts and tweets, teach your students the value of slowing down to write something that touches a heart or motivates an action.

3 1,336 5,549 views
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Make Learning Last: How Diverse Learners Can Process Their Understanding

Quick reflections, surveys, and diverse perspective assessments can stabilize your instructional framework by giving students a chance for the epiphanies so critical to their learning.

3 2,533 9,375 views
A closeup of a young boy in his preteens sitting in class. He's looking directly at the camera with a close-mouthed smile. The rest of the photo is out of focus.
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Try One New Thing in the New Year

Check out these suggestions that include adding coding to your curriculum or turning your classroom into a makerspace.

1 233 2,485 views
Three young boys are hovering over their classroom table, smiling. They're holding and looking at nuts, bolts, and screws that are lying on a piece of lamented paper with two circles drawn on it.
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Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset

Examples of a false growth mindset include praising effort over progress, affirming students' potential without enabling them, and blaming their mindset instead of refocusing it.

16 5,496 52,998 views
A young girl is intently looking at a wooden Abacus counting number frame, moving the colorful balls along the wire frames.
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Harnessing the Power of the Productive Struggle

Teaching that struggling is part of learning math encourages creativity, builds authentic engagement and perseverance, and creates opportunity for assessment, intervention, and feedback.

7 2,746 13,584 views
Six high school students are sitting at individual desks, looking towards the teacher at the front of the class.
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Turning Current Events Instruction Into Social Justice Teaching

When teaching social justice through current events, consider who your students are, explore opinions and perspective, clarify social justice themes, use interactive technology, and encourage activism.

5 2,033 7,270 views
A teenage boy is holding a Google Cardboard viewer up to his eyes, a cardboard box with his smart phone inside of it, looking into it as if it were binoculars or a camera.
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Come Along and Ride on a Google Expedition

With a smartphone and a simple virtual viewer, students can travel at any time, to any place, at the teacher's preferred pace, and for free.

2 973 6,122 views

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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 9,711 94,707 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 6,581 94,325 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 5,268 87,628 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 5,559 86,863 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.

28 19,043 80,740 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.

7 249 76,914 views
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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

6 481 76,722 views

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