George Lucas Educational Foundation

3-5 Upper Elementary

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in elementary school grades 3-5.

  • Creating a Teacher-Driven Professional Development Program

    Teacher buy-in for a professional development program increases engagement and targets growth to their needs.
    Laura McCullough
  • Increasing Teachers’ Effectiveness—Without Causing Burnout

    An elementary school principal explains how he prioritized professional development for teachers by embedding it in the master schedule.
  • Helping Students Process Their Feelings During Remote Learning

    When classes resume, elementary students will benefit from intentional routines designed to maintain emotional well-being.
  • The Sensory Room: Helping Students With Autism Focus and Learn

    Imagine a safe space where students with autism can go to calm their bodies and then get back to the business of learning.
  • One Word to Drop From Your Teacher Vocabulary

    A simple change in language can show students how mistakes are useful and how struggle can be productive.
  • Using Morning Messages to Start the Day in Distance Learning

    The morning message is a popular way to help elementary students transition into school—and it can be adapted for home learning.
  • Why Learning at Home Should Be More Self-Directed—and Less Structured

    On March 18, 2020, Simone Kern tweeted that simply “recreating schools at home” passes up a golden opportunity to engage kids in authentic, self-directed learning.
    Simone Kern
  • Distance Learning FAQ: Solving Teachers’ and Students’ Common Problems

    Lessons learned from problems during remote learning can help inform teaching and learning this fall.
  • Making Students Feel Safe

    A trauma-informed approach ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 
  • Learning to Measure the Size of a Problem

    When elementary students compare the relative importance of a range of problems, they learn to take charge of their reactions.
  • A Daily Support System for Students

    Students who need extra social and emotional support have a quick check-in with an adult at the start and end of each day.
  • Bringing Number Talks to the Online Classroom

    Elementary school teachers use number talks to guide students to engage deeply with concepts, and they can work online, with a little creativity.
  • Time to Play: More State Laws Require Recess

    Unstructured playtime is making a comeback in schools as frustrated teachers, parents, and advocacy groups demand legislative action.
  • 4 Strategies to Help Students Feel Calm During Distance Learning

    Ways to guide elementary students to regulate their emotions and feel connected to their teacher and peers so they’re ready to learn.
  • Bringing a Dog to School

    A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school.