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

Building a Positive, Trusting Classroom Environment

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
12 268 44,100 views

Teaching Writing or Editing Writing?

Last comment 2 weeks 1 day ago
13 162 8,471 views

11 Alternatives to "Round Robin" (and "Popcorn") Reading

Last comment 14 hours 2 min ago
85 6,137 466,936 views

3 Strategies to Promote Independent Thinking in Classrooms

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 15:03
18 2,640 82,220 views

11 Alternatives to "Round Robin" (and "Popcorn") Reading

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 09:55
85 6,137 466,936 views

Reaching Students With Emotional Disturbances

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 06:00
2 24,570 28,366 views

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The backs of two sitting students are facing a male teacher who is standing, smiling, and looking proudly at a booklet he's holding.
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The Power of Critique and Redrafting

Create a culture of critique and redrafting in your classroom by adapting the seven-step Audience Response protocol to your subject matter and students' needs.

362 747 views
A close-up of a young girl and boy sitting on a carpet talking to each other. In the background, more students are sitting in pairs on carpet talking to each other.
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Oracy: The Literacy of the Spoken Word

School 21 believes oracy is as important as reading and writing, and the research supports it. From Harkness discussions to talk-rich assemblies, learn how you can integrate oracy at your school.

97 4,236 views
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Differentiated Instruction: Resource Roundup

In this collection of tools and advice from Edutopia and the web, find resources to help you adjust instruction in response to diverse learner needs and interests.

299 105,879 views
An aerial shot of five high school students sitting at a wooden picnic table outside with laptops, tablets, and notebooks open, working on math problems with rulers and graphs.
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Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds

Teachers can help students strengthen their brain's executive function with "workouts" in which they practice pausing, prioritizing, improving their working memory, and mapping their options.

9 6,249 39,865 views
photo of a teacher in front of students in a classroom
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Ring Their Bells: A New Way to Deliver Bell Work

Because students bring a broad variety of needs and emotions, start class with bell work that engages their working memory and sets the tone for positive, productive learning.

4 1,909 47,589 views
photo of a student balancing a pencil under his nose
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Having an Off Day: A Letter to New Teachers

If your lesson fails, have a backup, ask yourself why it happened, devise a better plan for the next day, and don't assume you're a bad teacher!

1 538 14,949 views
A stack of four notebooks are on a classroom desk with three pencils lying on top of them. A blurred out chalkboard is shown in the background.
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Interactive Notebooks: No Special Hardware Required

Here's an old-school interactive tool: a spiral-bound notebook set up as a simple, functional system for students to create, write, and explore ideas all in the same place.

26 6,808 29,649 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.

17 346 98,664 views
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7-Step Prep: Make a Weekly Plan for YOU!

Advance planning is essential for a week of effective teaching, yet the most effective planning system will let you incorporate and track those on-the-fly changes.

22 545 94,610 views
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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.

52 845 94,179 views
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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.

7 244 91,936 views
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 14,505 91,910 views
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Planning the Best Curriculum Unit Ever

The good curriculum is in the details, so focus your teacher super powers on the granular aspects of planning ahead for the new school year.

7 39 90,192 views
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Article

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Have students take responsibility for their grades and behavior by strategically offering opportunities to redo assignments, retake tests, and reflect on their performance.

12 3,206 87,004 views

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