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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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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.

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

Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms

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Year One With a 3D Printer: 17 Tips

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Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving

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Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers

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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

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Teaching With Web-Based Resources

Web-based teaching starts with identifying and vetting your resources, creating a lesson plan, and developing online handouts that provide information and encourage student participation.

9 404 6,799 views
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Gamification: Engaging Students With Narrative

Gamify a classroom by introducing a fun narrative, reframing assignments to fit into that narrative, and making students care about the outcome.

5 1,621 11,574 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.

12 3,839 37,009 views
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What I Learned From Teachers Who Inspired Me

Inspired by his colleagues, one teacher learned to differentiate instruction, foster a flexible learning environment, avoid harshly penalizing failure, and encourage problem solving and innovation.

5 1,029 16,783 views
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Feeling the Power of Oral Communication

While most people fear public speaking, children can learn from a young age to recognize and embrace the empathy of the people listening to them.

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Learning From Students

Unplanned interactions and observations can provide teachers with clues about who students really are, what they're thinking, and what they need in order to learn.

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"Fitting In" PBL

Read about how four teachers fit PBL into their curriculum through scalable projects that challenged and enriched students while meeting the standards.

2 659 9,693 views

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Academic Sponge Activities

A "sponge activity" is a lesson soaking up precious time that would otherwise be lost. Hint: it should be fun as well as educational.

854 45,683 views
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It’s a Mistake Not to Use Mistakes as Part of the Learning Process

I recently heard a TED talk from Brian Goldman, a doctor who admits to having made mistakes. In very emotional language, he describes some costly emergency room mistakes, and then makes a strong case for changing the way that the medical profession addresses...

29 4,304 45,249 views
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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.

4 422 45,105 views
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Teacher Development Research Review: Keys to Educator Success

Teacher Development Research Table of Contents: Introduction Keys to Educator Success

1,326 44,816 views
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7 Tenets of Creative Thinking

Michael Michalko explains that everyone is an artist and that it takes belief and persistence to nurture this quality. He offers seven principles about creative thinking that he wishes he'd known as a student.

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Why Storytelling in the Classroom Matters

Teachers, by their nature, are storytellers. You can improve this skillset with seven steps for engaging younger students through narrative.

16 1,675 42,936 views
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"What Did You Call Me?" – How to Remember Students’ Names

Blogger Todd Finley shares techniques on how to remember students' names.

16 423 39,611 views

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