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.

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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.

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Eight elementary-age students are smiling, running out of the school building through three opened doors.
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Transition Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Administrators

Matt Davis has highlighted resources for parents, teachers, and administrators that can help students make the transition into elementary, middle, and high school -- and beyond.

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photo of a student examining a science project
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Back-to-School Products Designed by Students for Students

Check out when students get to see the products they imagine go all the way through the design and manufacturing process.

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image of a young student using binoculars
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Elementary Classroom: Making the Most of the First Month

Check out these important activities for developing community and learning goals with elementary school students.

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Man pointing to 21st Century Learning Experience notes on big yellow easel paper taped onto a whiteboard
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Middle School Maker Journey: 19 Days (and Counting) to Launch

In part two of his year-long series, middle school teacher Kevin Jarrett reviews the manifesto, mantra, and materials necessary to make a maker program from scratch.

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photo of a girl blowing a bubble out of chewing gum
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Back to School: Rules and Routines in the Classroom

As the school year begins, it's important for teachers to remember the difference between rules and routines in the classroom.

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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.

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Back-to-School Night: The Ultimate Conversation Starter for a Successful School Year

When establishing that first contact with parents on back-to-school night, start the year right by being transparent, direct, and consistent.

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Back to School: 3 Question Activities to Connect Students

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias describes three classroom activities for team and trust building with students.

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5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

Asking a question can be a scary step into the void. How do you create a culture of using questioning in the classroom?

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First Day of Kindergarten: 8 Survival Skills

Blogger and author Sarah Richard shares eight teacher survival skills for the first day of kindergarten.

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Back to School: A Surefire Strategy for Building Classroom Community

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

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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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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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7-Step Prep: Make a Weekly Plan for YOU!

Advance planning is essential for a week of effective teaching, yet the most effective planning system will let you incorporate and track those on-the-fly changes.

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