George Lucas Educational Foundation

Back to School

It's a brand-new year, chock-full of new opportunities! Gear up with strategies, tools, and resources for heading back to school.

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7 Questions to Ask Parents at the Beginning of the Year

Seven questions to ask parents at the start of the year with the intention of building a partnership to support their child's learning.

A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

Mark Phillips suggests that a critical piece of student learning is the physical environment of the classroom itself. He offers examples of and resources for turning impersonal spaces into student-friendly havens of learning.

Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community

Anne Shaw highlights a fun, beginning-of-the-year strategy that includes a roll of toilet paper.

Graphic of a hammer attached to a starting flag

13 Free Teacher Downloads for Back to School

All of Edutopia’s downloadable and printable back-to-school resources are collected here for easy classroom reference.

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Young boy sitting close between man and woman at a table with a teacher sitting across from them holding a pen with an open notebook
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Parents: 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child's Teacher

Back-to-school content is usually focused on teachers and students, and as these two groups will have the largest workload ahead of them, that makes sense. But for students, the ultimate support system is not an expert teacher, but an informed and...

45 80 435,826 views
An illustration of the inner workings of a person's brain while they are typing on a keyboard and texting on a smartphone.
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Quality vs. Quantity: Choosing Your Back-to-School Apps

When choosing what apps to try out, focus on your learning goals, only pick a few, and don’t forget to have your students join the process!

3 81 5,481 views
Teacher standing alone in classroom reading off a clipboard
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Outstanding in Your Field: What It Takes to Be a Great Teacher

How does one advance from good teaching into greatness? It takes a tremendous deal of reflection and the will to change.

186 5,876 63,035 views
Four young students are smiling and sitting at two desks pushed together. Five paper-made windmills are on their desks.
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4 Approaches to Building Positive Community in Any Classroom

All students want to feel part of their classroom community. Here are four activities to help them feel welcomed and comfortable.

4 956 12,956 views
Young girl concentrating on writing with pencils in each hand
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5 Tips to Kick Start the School Year

Through podcasts, web pages, mailed invitations, a "Meat 'n' Greet," and a final email blast, you can build up your incoming students' back-to-school excitement.

10 676 36,626 views
Graphic of a start flag attached to a hammer
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13 Free Teacher Downloads for Back to School

All of Edutopia’s downloadable and printable back-to-school resources are collected here for easy classroom reference.

3 2,291 63,533 views
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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.

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Two boys writing at a desk
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7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have

As you plan next year's curriculum and activities, consider how you'll use your classroom space. Here are seven learning zones to help focus your students.

26 676 168,644 views
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7 Questions to Ask Parents at the Beginning of the Year

Seven questions teachers can ask parents at the start of the year with the intention of building a partnership to support their child's learning.

18 197 165,091 views
Traditional classroom with desks in rows facing teacher's desk in front of the blackboard
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Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces

From innovative, intelligent seating arrangements to relevant, engaging bulletin boards, your students deserve a classroom space that stimulates and facilitates their learning.

19 2,185 155,345 views
Male teacher scratching his head surrounded by students having a balled up paper fight
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Positive, Not Punitive, Classroom Management Tips

In the first of two excerpts from his latest book, teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo offers some classroom management tips that are positive, not punitive.

21 3,443 151,159 views
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The Art of Managing Middle School Students

Edutopia blogger Ben Johnson offers up tricks of the trade for managing middle school kids.

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A young girl chews gum on a school bus.
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Rules and Routines in the Classroom

An argument for keeping hard rules to a minimum.

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Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

The good curriculum is in the details, so focus your teacher super powers on the granular aspects of planning ahead for the new school year.

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