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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 8 hours 30 min ago
70 66,001 676,610 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 7 hours 41 min ago
187 171,812 1,435,926 views

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Last comment 2 days 13 hours ago
8 2,950 24,857 views

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:00
12 4,296 16,698 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
187 171,812 1,435,926 views

Browse

A large group of pre-teens are sitting on the floor of a large multipurpose room, smiling and laughing. Eleven chairs are lined up against the brown paneled, back wall, and three teachers are sitting in them.
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Brain Development and Adolescent Growth Spurts

As tweens enter a period of rapid prefrontal cortex development, familiarize them with their growing executive function skills by teaching time management and organizing information.

5 2,504 15,378 views
A high school student is sitting across a table from an adult in a library, and they're talking to each other. There are bookshelves against the wall behind them, as well as another table, and students sitting at desks.
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Conversing, Consulting, and Creating

Through quick, deep, frequent conversations, teachers can understand students' ideas and support their challenges, act as a guide, and help identify models and sources of inspiration.

8 1,037 6,449 views
A female teacher is standing at the left side of a classroom. The classroom is empty, except for a large green and brown rug placed side by side with two benches placed on top of them, and shelves are against the back wall with drums on top of them.
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Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

To help students find their own way in PBL, use mindfulness techniques like tuning into your own body, nonjudgmental observation, and embracing the "don't know" mind.

12 1,448 10,806 views
A group of ten high school students are in a library sitting at tables and talking to each other.
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Timely Feedback: Now or Never

Feedback is necessary for learning. Be constructive, kind, and specific. Find strategies for responding promptly to student work, and give them opportunities to reflect before revising.  

7 1,035 7,074 views
Three high school girls are sitting on a couch next to each other in class, smiling. The two girls to the right are hugging, and one of them is looking directly at the camera.
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Voice and Choice: It’s More Than Just "What"

Consider letting students decide what they want to study, who they want to work with, what outcomes they expect, and where and when they do their work.

1 569 1,870 views
Three elementary-aged girls and two female teachers are standing around three rectangular desks pushed together with a student-made contraption standing on the center desk. The contraption is a large, circular, aluminum-looking tube standing about two to
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Going Beyond Group Assessments for Learning

Student teamwork is integral to developing 21st-century skills, but group assessments can also serve as individual assessments by building checkpoints into collaborative activities.

3 881 5,403 views
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.

2 1,457 6,657 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 4,774 71,692 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.

29 13,248 71,485 views
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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

6 553 71,485 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 15,399 71,069 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.

12 194 71,069 views
Older girl laughing sitting next to man using a computer
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New Study: Engage Kids With 7x the Effect

The way to engage students is to make sure that they care about the material and that they know how much you care about them.

4 5,402 70,861 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 10,017 70,861 views

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