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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

Not Just Group Work -- Productive Group Work!

Last comment 3 days 4 hours ago
33 592 22,703 views

Mindful Facilitation: Don’t Do Something, Just Stand There

Last comment 2 days 10 hours ago
11 381 5,579 views

12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Last comment 2 days 14 hours ago
26 7,590 50,232 views

4 Strategies to Help ELLs in the Mainstream Classroom

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 06:00
13 4,651 25,384 views

Come Along and Ride on a Google Expedition

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 06:00
1 290 4,290 views

Conversing, Consulting, and Creating

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:00
7 858 2,612 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.

580 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.

7 858 2,612 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.

11 381 5,579 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.  

6 527 3,994 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.

1 360 1,725 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.

3 772 3,628 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.

3 1,315 5,118 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.

151 132,715 1,066,452 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)

45 5,121 691,173 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.

41 27,651 414,453 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.

28 50,741 313,747 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.

41 24,242 291,566 views
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Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

6 438 291,029 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.

59 38,752 261,336 views

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