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

Last comment 3 days 17 hours ago
94 3 4,940 views

Not Just Group Work -- Productive Group Work!

Last comment 2 weeks 6 days ago
43 99 39,764 views

SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

Last comment 5 days 4 hours ago
19 493 230,930 views

26 Research-Based Tips You Can Use in the Classroom Tomorrow

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 06:00
3 1,962 16,299 views

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

Fri, 07/08/2016 - 06:00
12 243 63,722 views

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 09:38
209 16,296 1,938,334 views

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Article

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.

8 450 62,435 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 12,843 views
Article

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.

13 236 43,716 views
A rack of postcards from New Mexico
Article

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 5,434 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."
Article

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.

4 343 57,061 views
Article

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.

17 321 98,300 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.
Article

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 2,878 67,674 views

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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 91,384 views
Article

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.

22 530 90,396 views
Yellow dunce cap sitting on a stool in front of a blackboard
Article

12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Embarrassing or belittling students may interfere with learning and lead to long-term resentment. Teachers should treat students respectfully and be mindful of their feelings.

31 820 89,161 views
Mathis in active dialogue with students sitting in circle on the floor with hands raised
Article

Inquiry-Based Learning: The Power of Asking the Right Questions

An inquiry-based curriculum requires both planning and flexibility, as well as a teacher knowing the students well enough to anticipate their interests and limits.

5 705 88,173 views
Article

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 49 87,186 views
Young girl resting her head in her hand looking perplexed
Article

Avoiding "Learned Helplessness"

Take responsibility for empowering students, and avoid the schooling habits that train them to seek a single right answer instead of exploring the learning process.

12 2,284 86,692 views
A photo of post-it notes in various bright colors stuck on a wall.
Article

Using Old Tech (Not Edtech) to Teach Thinking Skills

Butcher paper and Post-it notes can help students understand the collaborative thinking that takes place on a shared Google Doc.

11 2,061 84,469 views

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