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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.

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6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Last comment 10 min 16 sec ago
25 39 13,665 views

19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Last comment 5 days 17 hours ago
12 3,356 33,605 views

6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life

Last comment 1 day 11 hours ago
8 14,778 views

Tools for Differentiating Instruction in PBL

Thu, 02/18/2016 - 10:00
2 1,853 19,155 views

6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 06:00
25 39 13,665 views

Building Staff Rapport With Flash Lessons

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 10:00
3 10,363 views

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Six preteen students are standing on their classroom desks, smiling, and one student is sitting.
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Building Staff Rapport With Flash Lessons

A hands-on administrator asks teachers to become students for a class period and, at his prompting, model trust, academic risk taking, and camaraderie.

3 10,363 views
Three young girls are standing beside each other wearing hats that say, "I heart math."
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6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Help students better understand math by presenting multiple examples, encouraging collaboration on alternative solutions, and framing the class with a clear agenda and effective summary.

23 39 13,665 views
A group of young students are sitting in a classroom looking towards an adult male. At the front of the class, the wall is yellow. A red and white stop sign is hanging on the wall next to another sign that says, "yield to pedestrian in crosswalk."
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6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life

Nonverbals are gestural cues that can help students quickly and respectfully communicate their reactions, needs, and levels of understanding in a fast-paced classroom.

8 14,778 views
A female adult wearing a green shirt and glasses is sitting beside a young female student in a red blouse. They're both looking at a laptop computer.
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Math Education: The Roots of Computer Science

Math matters for computer science because it teaches students how to use abstract language, work with algorithms, self-analyze their computational thinking, and accurately modeling real-world solutions.

2 422 2,691 views
A closeup of a high school girl sitting at a purple desk. She's writing, looking down at her paper. Other students are sitting behind her, slightly blurred.
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19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Emphasize the obvious, keep things fresh, and be honest. Showing students that it pays to behave and respecting them as individuals greatly enhance classroom management.

12 3,356 33,605 views
A closeup of a young kid blowing a big bubble. He's to the left of the photo, the top of his head out of frame, and his arm is in front of his face holding an orange plastic device to blow bubbles.
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The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

In her final post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests how educators can ease adolescent students' transition as their maturing brains redefine purpose and identity.

2 1,683 9,194 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
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Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

4 1,841 11,385 views

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30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Whether you use musical instruments, game pieces, call-and-response, or electronic devices, there are many successful ways of getting students to focus front and stop talking.

153 137,563 1,135,710 views
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6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use With Your Students

Blogger Rebecca Alber shares scaffolding strategies to use in your lessons. (Updated 01/2014)

52 9,612 771,570 views
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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

Through alternative formative assessment, teachers can check for student understanding without falling back on the tedious or intimidating pop quiz.

43 27,651 424,095 views
A photo of an elementary-school boy using a desktop computer.
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5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools

With tools like Socrative, Kahoot, Zaption, Chatzy, and Plickers, teachers can use tech for immediate feedback about how students are learning and understanding the lesson.

48 24,389 335,982 views
a photo of a stopwatch
blog

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.

33 51,453 323,531 views
blog

11 Alternatives to "Round Robin" (and "Popcorn") Reading

Rather than intimidating young readers with ancient pedagogy, encourage and empower them with livelier strategies such as partner reading or the manic Crazy Professor Game.

79 44,558 304,376 views
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8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom

David Bill, who's spent the past three years helping teachers redesign classroom spaces, offers eight tips and tricks to remake your room.

27 17,089 269,322 views

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