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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 4 days 9 hours ago
43 2,210 19,328 views

Integrating Technology and Literacy

Last comment 4 days 11 hours ago
33 1,636 20,511 views

Building Staff Rapport With Flash Lessons

Last comment 17 hours 45 min ago
15 5,053 24,259 views

19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 10:00
16 3,400 50,095 views

Put Working Memory to Work in Learning

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 06:00
24 3,004 20,117 views

Strategies for Strengthening the Brain’s Executive Functions

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 12:00
16 5,308 38,065 views

Browse

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.

2 977 6,706 views
Two young, brunette, teenage girls are sitting in class, talking to each other and laughing.
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Re-Energize Your Classroom in the New Year

Inviting student agency in the New Year encourages buy-in during the long winter months. Student ownership inspires new ways of engagement and more meaningful lessons.

2 1,450 6,706 views
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.

2 132 1,775 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 17,481 132,142 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.

14 21,197 251,858 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.

10 1,879 10,453 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 2,429 8,481 views

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Hands-Off Teaching Cultivates Metacognition

Students learn better when their "thinking" includes thinking about the material plus how to dig in, break it apart, understand it, and build on that.

15 15,378 70,409 views
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3 Strategies to Promote Independent Thinking in Classrooms

Guest blogger and master teaching specialist Margaret Regan describes three strategies that can promote independent thinking in classrooms.

16 4,769 68,832 views
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Powerful Learning: Studies Show Deep Understanding Derives from Collaborative Methods

Cooperative learning and inquiry-based teaching yield big dividends in the classroom. And now we have the research to prove it.

12 189 68,832 views
Yellow dunce cap sitting on a stool in front of a blackboard
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12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Embarrassing or belittling students may interfere with learning and lead to long-term resentment. Teachers should treat students respectfully and be mindful of their feelings.

30 9,957 68,634 views
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Believing in Students: The Power to Make a Difference

Edutopia blogger Richard Curwin talks about how to believe in challenged and challenging students, and how your belief can change their academic experience.

25 7,232 68,437 views
Illo of silhouette of two men lifting a big desk above their shoulders
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Ditching the Desk

Remove the teacher's desk and students feel more comfortable and less intimidated, teachers feel more active and engaged, and classroom learning happens in a shared space.

28 13,057 68,043 views
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9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons: Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

Transformational lessons don't just happen. They require planning, mindfulness, and a commitment to shift away from educational approaches of the past.

15 3,778 67,451 views

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