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.

Discuss

Inspiring Progress Toward Learning Goals

Last comment 4 weeks 23 hours ago
10 348 5,980 views

Reimagining School Writing

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
11 314 19,434 views

5 Ways to Make Class Discussions More Exciting

Last comment 2 weeks 2 days ago
12 5,078 292,121 views

Creating an Anti-Racist Classroom

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 15:50
7 311 26,410 views

Note Taking With Technology

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:00
9 326 555 views

When We Listen to Students

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 06:00
9 1,926 62,538 views

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A closeup of a young teenage girl looking up with her head tilt back and her hand under her chin.
Article

How Moxie Can Help Students Succeed

Moxie (a blend of positivity, purpose, and volition) helps students count their blessings and evaluate their ongoing strategies to become happier and more successful.

2 121 16,195 views
A group of young students are sitting on the floor in their classroom, looking up.
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Integrating Mindfulness in Your Classroom Curriculum

Make mindfulness a part of classroom learning by integrating it into curriculum-themed activities through exercises in breathing, sensory experience, guided imagery, and movement.

5 13,707 24,666 views
A teacher is smiling at two young students, standing in front of a cardboard display on a desk.
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Demonstrating Authentic and Rigorous Learning in PBL

Ensure authentic, rigorous PBL learning by having students create relevant artifacts, by designing intentional self-assessment opportunities, and by having students present to authentic public audiences.

1,197 3,986 views
A closeup of two teenage students sitting in a classroom, talking, smiling, and laughing, with other kids sitting and talking in the background.
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Hypos: Real Engagement With Unreal Questions

Use hypothetical scenarios to help engage your students, efficiently apply knowledge, provide problem-solving exercises, build conflict-resolution skills, and reinforce study habits.

68 6,478 views
Two young women are squatting by a table in a classroom; one of them is reaching into a cardboard box that's part of a display.
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3 PBL Practices to Empower Students

Empower students in PBL settings by framing the purpose for learning, intentionally structuring collaboration and choice, and using appropriate scaffolds for learning and revision.

77 13,704 views
This image is of a statue of Homer, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. The left side of the statue is untouched, and the right side of the statue is digitally edited, appearing pixelated in green and purple.
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Homer Meets High-Tech: Data Visualization and the Classics

One teacher spiced up "The Iliad" with data visualization, inspiring middle school students to take a fresh look at narrative, themes, characterizations, and methods of fact-based inquiry.

6 96 10,465 views
A closeup of a young boy giving the peace sign with his fingers.
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Empathy in the Classroom: Why Should I Care?

The benefits of empathy in education include building positive classroom culture, strengthening community, and preparing students to be leaders in their own communities.

8 334 31,892 views

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Rethinking Difficult Parents

Educational consultant and author Allen Mendler looks at the ways that difficult parents can become teachers' allies rather than their adversaries.

6 478 35,131 views
Open laptop, headphones, portfolio book with writings and drawings, pen, and camera on a wooden table
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11 Essentials for Excellent ePortfolios

An electronic portfolio can helping students reflect on their learning, organize and share their products, and maintain a record of their accomplishments for the future.

5 1,021 34,882 views
Students are hunched over their desks, writing in notebooks, with their teacher looking upon them.
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Teen Engagement in Learning Starts With Respect

Adolescents learn more easily when they feel heard, understood, and cared about. Teachers should see teen reactions and attitudes through the lens of behavioral development.

4 1,800 34,633 views
Game controller attached to a blackboard
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Epic Fail or Win? Gamifying Learning in My Classroom

A teacher shares how she gamified classroom learning (including turning assignments into quests, and encouraging students to mod them), along with what worked and what didn't.

38 643 34,633 views
A photo of a student drawing on a piece of cardboard with black marker.
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Creating an Authentic Maker Education Rubric

To assess maker projects in your class, begin with a three-part rubric to guide students through process, understanding, and product.

3 1,087 34,383 views
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Students Matter: 3 Steps for Effective Differentiated Instruction

Education consultant and guest blogger John McCarthy advocates for student-centered education via three strategies for differentiated instruction: knowing students' strengths, involving them in planning, and leveraging the strengths of fellow educators.

6 101 34,134 views
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Teaching Empathy Through Design Thinking

While empathy is the first step in the design thinking process, keep your students focused on this necessary element as they move through definition, ideation, prototyping, and testing.

6 4,131 33,885 views

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