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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 11 hours 15 min ago
72 93,401 679,830 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Last comment 1 day 21 hours ago
187 171,812 1,438,501 views

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

Last comment 17 hours 58 min ago
15 4,296 19,751 views

The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 15:00
17 25,027 380,272 views

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Fri, 06/03/2016 - 06:00
72 93,401 679,830 views

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:00
15 4,296 19,751 views

Browse

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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.

16 3,817 71,977 views
An illustration of a shadow-like teenage boy. He's drawing a school, inspired from reading a book. The word "growth" is highlighted in green in the background.
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How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

Transformational teachers share best practices, build mentoring relationships, observe their peers, keep things fresh, model their subject's usefulness, and demonstrate caring beyond what they teach.

15 4,296 19,751 views
A teacher is smiling, sitting at a classroom table with four young kids. They're building things out of pipe cleaners, Kleenex boxes, and toilet paper roles.
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Resources for Creating a Radically Compassionate Classroom

As you ponder curriculum, seating, and policies, here are some ideas and resources to consider that will assist you in making your class a welcoming, safe, and inclusive space for your students.

2,558 views
Over 100 United States flags are raised in the air with a handful of other country flags lost in the background.
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The Election and the Educator

During a contentious election season, a teacher's best strategy may be encouraging healthy, informed debate among students while withholding his or her own views.

57 4,136 views
A group of five ethnic teens in formal wear are taking a selfie outside.
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A Student Perspective on Voice, Choice, and Meaning

High school teacher Josh Block interviews a graduating student to examine the complex dynamic of collaboration and supporting someone else through the creative and intellectual processes.

1 158 2,151 views
Eight young kids are running outside on the grass in front of a playground.
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Building SEL Skills Through Formative Assessment

Measure and evaluate your students' SEL development by using a Progression Chart and strategies that include probing discussions, unobtrusive assessments, and student-generated assessments.

1,088 4,646 views
A roller 0.7 mm pen is on top of a yellow folder filled with paper.
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Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Have students take responsibility for their grades and behavior by strategically offering opportunities to redo assignments, retake tests, and reflect on their performance.

8 2,950 25,189 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.

187 171,812 1,438,501 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)

53 11,388 818,791 views
A young boy in a large-striped red and blue polar shirt is sitting at his desk with his head down in a book.
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What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

Literacy strategies that waste instructional time include looking up words on lists, prizes for reading, weekly spelling tests, unsupported independent reading, and denial of recess.

72 93,401 679,830 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 27,780 436,231 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.

17 25,027 380,272 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.

47 24,590 362,382 views
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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.

82 50,178 340,747 views

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