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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Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

Last comment 22 hours 38 min ago
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Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 12:00
23 779 53,817 views

Relationships Matter More Than Rules

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 06:00
1 300 11,384 views

Rules and Routines in the Classroom

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 10:00
1 22 127,688 views

Resources

Back-to-School Pinterest Board

Visit a curated collection of back-to-school resources on Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest to help you start the year off strong.

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A young girl chews gum on a school bus.
Article

Rules and Routines in the Classroom

An argument for keeping hard rules to a minimum.

1 22 127,688 views
 A high school teacher stands before her students and speaks while they listen.
Article

Relationships Matter More Than Rules

Community building in the classroom starts on day one. Try these strategies to begin forging strong relationships.

1 300 11,384 views
A classroom filled with teachers talking to each other while seated
Article

Building Trust With Parents

Suggestions for how to make back-to-school night a hit for you and your students’ parents.

773 437 views
A father gets his two kids ready to head off to school.
Article

Back-to-School Resources for Parents

Find information on easing transition jitters, managing kids’ tech use, getting involved in the school, and more.

246 362 views
Two female teachers consider the merits of apps on their tablets.
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10 Free Apps and Tools for Starting Out (and Staying) Organized

Choose from among these options—all free!—to develop a system for staying on top of student work, lesson plans, and resource ideas.

511 772 views
An illustration of a square 35 millimeter film against an orange backdrop with the video play button on top.
Article

5-Minute Film Festival: Back-to-School Night Survival

Looking for a little back-to-school inspiration? Check out these tips for making a great first impression and connection with parents in this playlist.

380 5,481 views
A young girl is raising her hand amidst a group of children and adults sitting together. They're all looking towards the front of the classroom.
Article

Back-to-School Night: A New Approach

Back-to-school night can be a time to shine light on the importance of social-emotional learning -- at both home and school.

4 342 16,693 views

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Article

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.

43 2,002 504,276 views
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 supportive...

45 305 445,661 views
Article

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.

32 1,095 314,673 views
A light-filled classroom corner
Article

8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom

Designer David Bill offers eight free or low-cost tips and tricks for a more student-centered classroom.

27 1,327 297,268 views
Article

A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

Edutopia blogger 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.

41 3,170 292,728 views
Illo of a girl holding a cell phone to her ear
Article

The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home

Blogger Elena Aguilar proposes that teachers make positive phone calls home common practice.

54 54,158 196,976 views
Animated student explaining something to teacher standing across desk
Article

4 Things Transformational Teachers Do

Transformational teachers create experiences in their classrooms, melding the art and science of any subject and making their students care about learning.

18 8,310 185,990 views

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