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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5 Rules Why Teachers Should Stop Spoon-Feeding

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4 Steps to Better Writers

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19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

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4 Steps to Better Writers

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:01
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9 Ways to Inspire Student Inventors

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:00
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5 Rules Why Teachers Should Stop Spoon-Feeding

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A high school girl is asleep with her head resting on her desk, and other classmates are sitting around her, talking.
Article

Dialogue Defibrillators: Jump-Start Classroom Discussions!

Here are eight remedies for classroom participation issues like fuzzy questions, introverted students, lack of focus, social threat, boredom, sleepiness, cognitive load, and wait time.

1 129 14,768 views
A young girl is lying in a hospital bed, holding a teddy bear, smiling, and pointing at her doctor's face. Her doctor is wearing a clown hat and nose.
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Teacher Support for Children Undergoing Medical Treatment

When children are absent for ongoing medical treatment, educate the class about their illness, and foster a classroom community that reaches out to include the recovering classmate.

1 65 1,210 views
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When We Listen to Students

If you want to know how to reach, engage, and best teach your students, ask them. Here are example questions and tips on how to ask them.

8 365 61,983 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.

4 955 13,074 views
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Building Community With Attendance Questions

Taking attendance shows which students are physically present, but asking an attendance question stretches students' minds toward actively learning as part of a classroom community.

13 233 43,824 views
A rack of postcards from New Mexico
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The Power of the Postcard

Postcards may seem like relics of the snail-mail age, but they can still provide an exciting, fascinating entree into literacy for new readers and writers.

50 5,324 views
Plastic baskets filled with books are stacked on a red desk against a classroom wall. Each basket has a different label, ranging from "easy readers" to "sci-fi/fantasy" to "beginning chapters."
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Decrease Classroom Clutter to Increase Creativity

Since light, space, and room layout impact physical and physiological well-being, enhance the quality of learning by decluttering your classroom, letting in natural light, and ditching the desks.

4 251 56,898 views

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Woman sitting with two girls holding a small piece of paper with other cards in stacks on the table
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Student-Centered Learning: It Starts With the Teacher

Teachers encourage student-centered learning by allowing students to share in decisions, believing in their capacity to lead, and remembering how it feels to learn.

10 117 102,175 views
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5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

Asking a question can be a scary step into the void. How do you create a culture of using questioning in the classroom?

21 509 102,175 views
Article

The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain

Studies show that note-taking with pen or pencil is critical to processing and representing information, something that students lose when tapping on a keyboard.

46 3,067 98,785 views
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The Power of the Morning Meeting: 5 Steps Toward Changing Your Classroom and School Culture

Edutopia blogger Lisa Dabbs shares her own transformative experience with the Morning Meeting model and suggests five steps for integrating this practice into the classroom.

33 790 97,091 views
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9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons: Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

Transformational lessons don't just happen. They require planning, mindfulness, and a commitment to shift away from educational approaches of the past.

17 311 96,364 views
black and white photo of a student at a desk looking at the camera
Article

Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths

With delivery of instruction, one size does not fit all. John McCarthy launches his differentiated instruction series by busting three common myths about DI.

50 5,157 92,490 views
Article

Getting Started With Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy)

If you're new to project-based learning, Edutopia blogger Andrew Miller eases you into the approach with four suggestions to help you stay sane and begin mastering PBL.

7 243 91,764 views

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