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

5 Rules Why Teachers Should Stop Spoon-Feeding

Last comment 1 day 21 hours ago
71 3 3,390 views

4 Steps to Better Writers

Last comment 13 hours 29 min ago
22 4,528 41,403 views

19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Last comment 2 weeks 7 hours ago
49 4,923 201,445 views

4 Steps to Better Writers

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:01
22 4,528 41,403 views

9 Ways to Inspire Student Inventors

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:00
7 1,050 4,653 views

5 Rules Why Teachers Should Stop Spoon-Feeding

Wed, 10/05/2016 - 05:17
71 3 3,390 views

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Three young girls are standing beside each other wearing hats that say, "I heart math."
Article

6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Help students better understand math by presenting multiple examples, encouraging collaboration on alternative solutions, and framing the class with a clear agenda and effective summary.

51 186 37,771 views
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."
Article

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.

12 836 135,346 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.
Article

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 5,811 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.
Article

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 4,923 201,445 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.
Article

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.

3 207 12,348 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.
Article

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 73 22,517 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.
Article

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.

44 231 30,265 views

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Older girl laughing sitting next to man using a computer
Article

New Study: Engage Kids With 7x the Effect

The way to engage students is to make sure that they care about the material and that they know how much you care about them.

4 1,849 73,363 views
A teenage boy is balancing on a rectangular object outside of a school building with others watching him.
Article

Making Failure Harder Work Than Passing

One chemistry teacher describes how, through incremental learning goals, formative assessments, and differentiation, she inspires her students to work harder and recognize their potential.

38 682 72,152 views
article

Big Ideas for Better Schools: Ten Ways to Improve Education

Ideas for students, teachers, schools, and communities.

7 619 69,247 views
Article

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 68,278 views
Girl sitting with two boys smiling at the camera
Article

Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson?

Students engage more passionately when trying to answer a question that interests them. Here are ten opening questions that have inspired this kind of learning.

15 224 67,794 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.
Article

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.

2 4,662 67,068 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.
Article

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 66,341 views

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