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.

a photo of a stopwatch

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.

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.

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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

Last comment 5 days 7 hours ago
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5 Rules Why Teachers Should Stop Spoon-Feeding

Last comment 23 hours 55 min ago
100 4 5,481 views

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

Last comment 9 hours 2 min ago
54 4,232 307,776 views

Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 09:49
54 4,232 307,776 views

Mastering Classroom Transitions

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 13:00
7 134 3,523 views

5 Rules Why Teachers Should Stop Spoon-Feeding

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 05:17
100 4 5,481 views

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A group of young students are sitting in a classroom looking towards an adult male. At the front of the class, the wall is yellow. A red and white stop sign is hanging on the wall next to another sign that says, "yield to pedestrian in crosswalk."
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6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life

Nonverbals are gestural cues that can help students quickly and respectfully communicate their reactions, needs, and levels of understanding in a fast-paced classroom.

14 2,334 144,009 views
A female adult wearing a green shirt and glasses is sitting beside a young female student in a red blouse. They're both looking at a laptop computer.
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Math Education: The Roots of Computer Science

Math matters for computer science because it teaches students how to use abstract language, work with algorithms, self-analyze their computational thinking, and accurately modeling real-world solutions.

2 601 5,481 views
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.
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19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Emphasize the obvious, keep things fresh, and be honest. Showing students that it pays to behave and respecting them as individuals greatly enhance classroom management.

49 5,732 242,238 views
A closeup of a young kid blowing a big bubble. He's to the left of the photo, the top of his head out of frame, and his arm is in front of his face holding an orange plastic device to blow bubbles.
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The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

In her final post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests how educators can ease adolescent students' transition as their maturing brains redefine purpose and identity.

3 209 11,710 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
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Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

6 258 23,919 views
Someone's forearm is in the shot, and their index finger is touching a laptop screen, pointing at a frame within a video editing software. Another person's head is in the shot, blurred, looking at the computer screen.
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Integrating Technology and Literacy

A middle school language arts educator shares his favorite digital tools for text and video annotations, teacher feedback, and formative assessment.

44 238 33,387 views
A closeup on someone's eye. Their eye is green and blue. Their eyebrows and eyelashes are dark blond.
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Islands of Personality and Trains of Thought

In her third post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels explores visualizing the memories and emotions that inform students' identities and shape their cognitive processes.

7 105 21,178 views

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A young boy wearing a striped blue and orange t-shirt is looking at a bubble in front of his forehead that is almost the size of his head. He's outside. Behind him is grass next to a brick floor with a basketball hoop and a tree fence.
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How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.  

29 14,543 69,762 views
A black and white image of a young, long-haired woman sitting on the floor against a white wall, looking towards two other women sitting on the floor.
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Questioning That Deepens Comprehension

Scaffold students' thinking about complex texts by asking what the text says, how it works, what it means, and what it inspires them to do.

3 4,643 69,762 views
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Make It Count: Providing Feedback as Formative Assessment

Giving feedback that is non-evaluative, specific, timely, and goal-related will provide students with opportunities to revise and improve their work and deepen their understanding.

5 2,440 69,015 views
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Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation and Growth Mindset in Writing

To engage your students with their own development as writers, motivate them to care by showing your own interest and engagement with their process.

38 4,665 68,018 views
An illustration of a shadow-like teenage boy. He's drawing a school, inspired from reading a book. The word "growth" is highlighted in green in the background.
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How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

Transformational teachers share best practices, build mentoring relationships, observe their peers, keep things fresh, model their subject's usefulness, and demonstrate caring beyond what they teach.

47 3,083 67,769 views
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Believing in Students: The Power to Make a Difference

Edutopia blogger Richard Curwin talks about how to believe in challenged and challenging students, and how your belief can change their academic experience.

25 7,194 67,271 views
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To Teach Effective Writing, Model Effective Writing

Edutopia blogger David Cutler believes that the best writing teachers model writing for their students. He suggests six strategies, including continuing to hone your own craft and demonstrating the value of sharing finished work.

27 140 66,523 views

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