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.

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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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.

379 5,549 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.
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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.

4 112 16,408 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

Forget about all the vague, superficial information out there. Edutopia blogger Terry Heick cuts to the chase with 19 meaningful questions parents can ask their children's teachers at the beginning of the school year.

45 2,302 388,987 views
A man and woman at a table looking at an app on a tablet
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10 Free Apps and Tools for Starting Out (and Staying) Organized

Staying organized is about finding a system that works for you, picking tools that you'll actually use, and continually refining what works best for you.

15 390 27,989 views
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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!

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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.

185 5,875 62,296 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.

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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.

43 735 476,394 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
Article

Parents: 19 Meaningful Questions You Should Ask Your Child's Teacher

Forget about all the vague, superficial information out there. Edutopia blogger Terry Heick cuts to the chase with 19 meaningful questions parents can ask their children's teachers at the beginning of the school year.

45 2,302 388,987 views
Article

8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom

David Bill, who's spent the past three years helping teachers redesign classroom spaces, offers eight tips and tricks to remake your room.

27 1,415 297,716 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 3,025 238,076 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.

10 482 219,967 views
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The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home

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

53 54,142 197,753 views
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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 7,130 166,122 views

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