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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The First 5s With iPads

When introducing new technology in a 1:1 classroom, consider breaking the lessons and tasks into small increments with easily measurable products and goals.

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4 Early-Year Keys for Effective Classroom Discipline

Effective classroom management starts at the beginning of the year when a teacher clearly and respectfully lays out behavior standards and methods for handling misbehavior.

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Start the Year by Building Hope

Whatever expectations students bring to the new school year, raise their hopes through relevance, passion, reasonable possibilities, and personal engagement.

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Rolling Out the Red Carpet Year Round

For students to feel comfortable and ready to excel, they need a welcoming school culture that honors their feelings and celebrates their strengths.

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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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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.

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Boom-Bang Homework Assignments

Students are more likely to do homework if the assignments are engaging, relevant, and reasonable -- and if the teacher makes them accountable for it.

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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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The 5 Critical Categories of Rules

Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin believes that rules and limits, while necessary in a classroom, are subtly shaded in meaning and use. He defines five critical categories of rules: academic, social, procedural, cultural and personal.

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Relationship Building Through Culturally Responsive Classroom Management

Hone your skills like curiosity, listening, cultural sensitivity, and humor to provide all students with equitable opportunities for learning.

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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.

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Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that also challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects.

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The Science Behind Classroom Norming

Blogger Todd Finley explores the value of Classroom Norming to help learners.

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Let Tech Organize Your Teaching

Edutopia blogger Andrew Marcinek suggests three easy-to-use technology fixes that could save you from drowning in the details of your busy teaching life.

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