George Lucas Educational Foundation

Teaching Strategies

Discover and share best practices for improving your teaching craft -- delivering instruction, engaging students, reaching struggling students, and more.

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Teacher at the chalkboard looking toward students

Feedback for Thinking: Working for the Answer

Instead of helping students by giving them the answers, encourage them to think independently by supplementing your modeling with questions, prompts, and cues.

Laughter and Learning: Humor Boosts Retention

Humor activates the brain's dopamine reward system, stimulating goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory, which means that humor can improve retention in students of all ages.

It’s a Mistake Not to Use Mistakes as Part of the Learning Process

Consider these nine ways to teach with mistakes, including removing the stigma from error, explaining wrong answers, and helping students see mistakes as growth experiences.

On-the-Spot Scaffolding for Students

On-the-spot scaffolding is an essential skill for teachers. Check out these three strategies for assisting students when they struggle.

Discuss

4 Student Engagement Tips (From a Student)

Last comment 1 week 21 hours ago
3 1,881 51,136 views

Building Community With Attendance Questions

Last comment 5 days 3 hours ago
14 3,793 76,220 views

The Art of Reflection

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 16:04
212 views

Building Community With Attendance Questions

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 06:00
14 3,793 76,220 views

Making Failure Harder Work Than Passing

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:00
2 3,704 108,430 views

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A student takes notes in class while standing up.
Article

3 Fun Strategies for Note Taking

Note taking can be active, collaborative, and tailored to each student’s pace—and you can skip the lecture.

4 2,993 33,039 views
A group of smiling students have a discussion in class.
Article

Rekindling Excitement for Familiar Classes

When the author was assigned a new course, it changed his approach to the old ones as well. He has three takeaways for any teacher.

207 2,200 views
Young children work on literacy exercises with their teacher.
Article

3 Literacy Practices That Work

A literacy researcher shares three practices that are proven to be effective for early elementary learners.

1,242 15,417 views
A student explains his poster to two of his peers.
Article

Keeping Learning Real, Relevant, and Relatable

Reading and writing exercises teachers can use to tap students’ interests and experiences in a variety of classes.

3 648 6,328 views
A teacher uses counting blocks with two young students.
Article

More Talking in Math Class, Please

Talking about math helps elementary students deepen their understanding. Use these three tips to get the conversation started.

3 885 10,066 views
Students of different ethnicities work together in a group.
Article

Supporting Students With Interrupted Educations

Four strategies for helping students who have missed portions of their schooling—and examples of how teachers are using these strategies.

644 4,035 views
A teacher and student discuss text on the student’s laptop screen.
Article

Using Find and Replace as a Writing Tool

This simple tool can highlight word and punctuation choices to help developing writers examine the mechanics of their writing.

460 3,412 views

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A closeup of a high school girl sitting at a purple desk. She's writing, looking down at her paper. Other students are sitting behind her, slightly blurred.
Article

19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

The year I started teaching seventh- to twelfth-grade English in Minneapolis, Prince launched his song about urban ruin, "Sign o' the Times." That song was an apt musical backdrop for the lives of my students, most of whom lived in poverty and challenged me...

78 6,060 441,714 views
Two teenagers are sitting at a table with a laptop, one is holding a cell phone charger and the other is holding a cell phone, connecting it to a white wire.
Article

22 Powerful Closure Activities

Too many university supervisors and administrators criticize the absence of lesson closure, the activity that ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression. Like contracting your bicep at the top of a dumbbell curl, closure squeezes an extra oomph into a...

7,030 441,580 views
illustration of a profile with icons in the head
Article

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus...

10,191 424,478 views
Article

Bell Ringer Exercises

Because of pressure to teach bell-to-bell -- the pedagogical equivalent of force-feeding geese to make foie gras -- many classrooms now start with bell work, short exercises that students complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other...

72 388,780 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 1,087 368,682 views
a photo of a stopwatch
Article

The 8 Minutes That Matter Most

Like a story, lessons deserve compelling beginnings and endings. From pop culture connections to finishing with a level-up, here are eight strategies for holding students' attention.

1,567 359,120 views
Article

Using Webb's Depth of Knowledge to Increase Rigor

The word "rigor" is hard to avoid today, and it provokes strong reactions from educators. Policymakers tout its importance. Publishers promote it as a feature of their materials. But some teachers share the view of Joanne Yatvin, past president of the...

1,849 344,708 views

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