George Lucas Educational Foundation

Learning Environments

Learning is enhanced by the space where it happens. Discover how to make a difference by optimizing seating arrangements, classroom decor, and even building design.

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A photo of 2 female students writing a whiteboard table with colored markers.

21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons

Libraries become a different kind of learning destination when schools reimagine them as open, transparent spaces that invite student communication and collaboration.

Does Your Classroom Tell a Story?

Bringing objects and props into your classroom can create a world of curiosity and wonder for you and your students.

Traditional classroom with desks in rows facing teacher's desk in front of the blackboard

Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces

From innovative, intelligent seating arrangements to relevant, engaging bulletin boards, your students deserve a classroom space that stimulates and facilitates their learning.

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.

A no furniture, empty, orange and green classroom with sun shining through from large rectangular windows, a large checkered whiteboard on the back wall, and three circular clocks above it

5-Minute Film Festival: Classroom Makeovers to Engage Learners

How can a classroom be set up to maximize learning? Get inspired by this video playlist with tips and ideas for teachers to make over their classrooms.

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A closeup of the right side of young girl's face. She has an off-white cloth wrapped partially around her head with her brunette bangs showing, covering her forehead.
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Creating Core Memories in the Classroom

In her second post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests creating positive academic core memories by respecting your classroom's emotional climate and engaging students' curiosity and anticipation.

89 5,731 views
A young teenage boy and girl, in middle school or ninth grade, are working at a classroom table. The boy is working on a HP laptop, and the girl is putting super glue on a piece of paper that's on top of a red lunch tray.
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Middle School Maker Journey: The Making of a Mantra

In part eight of his year-long series, Kevin Jarrett reveals the power of a four-word design thinking mantra dominating the wall of his middle-school makerspace.

8 100 9,717 views
Four young students are standing next to each other, playfully hugging, smiling and looking directly at the camera.
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Strategies for Multi-Grade-Level PBL Projects

By building in similar learning objectives, starting from different driving questions, and working in flexible learning spaces, PBL projects can foster collaboration between different grade levels.

1 104 1,246 views
A young girl in a striped white and black long sleeve shirt is standing by a large tabletop partially covered with cardboard boxes and a robotic mechanism with four wheels. She's touching the robot.
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Middle School Maker Journey: Everything's Going Well . . . We Think

In part six of his year-long series, Kevin Jarrett reflects on his middle school makerspace's successes and growth opportunities, with an eye on the upcoming capstone projects.

15 58 2,741 views
Three young students are dressed in business professional clothes, sitting down, facing away from the camera. One blonde, teenage girl in a gray dress jacket is looking down, her face angled towards the camera.
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Learning Centers in the Secondary Classroom

Learning centers diversify student experience, encourage student voice, leverage available resources, and give teachers built-in opportunities for formative assessment and critical one-on-one conversations.

2 3,059 37,622 views
In the center of the classroom there is a big block house on top of a wooden block on top of a green table. Against one wall are shelves filled with blocks.
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Lessons in School Design from Crow Island Elementary

Designed to foster child-centered, progressive education, this public elementary school feels as fresh and inviting today as when the doors opened in 1940.

1 112 9,717 views
A young girl is sitting in class building a toy car.
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Middle School Maker Journey: Top 20 Technologies and Tools

In part five of his year-long series, Kevin Jarrett highlights the tools and systems that drive the excitement and invention in his middle school makerspace.

113 28,154 views

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A photo of an elementary-school boy in front of a green chalkboard, smiling.
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How Student Centered Is Your Classroom?

Check out these questions to guide you in reflecting on how much the learning environment you have designed promotes student voice and choice.

25 3,556 89,445 views
Illo of silhouette of two men lifting a big desk above their shoulders
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Ditching the Desk

Remove the teacher's desk and students feel more comfortable and less intimidated, teachers feel more active and engaged, and classroom learning happens in a shared space.

32 1,468 80,226 views
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The Pygmalion Effect: Communicating High Expectations

Research shows that positive expectations will influence performance positively. Start modeling excellence, celebrating small victories, and refusing to accept failure -- and watch what happens.

24 3,036 76,240 views
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Training the Brain to Listen: A Practical Strategy for Student Learning and Classroom Management

Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers, brain-based teaching program developers and authors, explain how the brain processes auditory information and introduce the HEAR strategy as a way to help students develop their listening skills.

32 1,652 72,503 views
Students working together in class.
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How Collaborative Learning Leads to Student Success

Encouraging students to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge builds collaborative skills and leads to deeper learning at The College Preparatory School.

9 320 72,254 views
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New Teachers: Designing Learning Environments

For new teachers, this resource compilation includes tips and guides on classroom design and layout to help maximize the possibilities of the learning environment.

6 1,068 69,513 views
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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.

3 1,923 63,533 views

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