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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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.

3 1,029 15,697 views
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Auditory Awareness: Are Students Hearing the Lesson?

Teachers who are acoustically aware can do a lot to help students hear more clearly. Read tips on how to do this and also suggestions for minimizing noise distractions in and out of the classroom.

7 38 5,481 views

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Teachers: 5 Ways to Ease Back into School

Does the thought of returning to school result in a tense knot in your stomach or a joyful flutter in your heart? Strategies to manage those feelings, focus on the possibilities, and ease back into the rhythm of teaching.

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Back to School with iPads: 5 Steps for the First 5 Days

Beth Holland of EdTech Teacher presents five practical steps for the first five days of the school year in an iPad-enabled classroom.

9 623 44,599 views
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.

10 942 41,111 views
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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.

22 110 38,121 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.

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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.

9 1,018 36,127 views

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