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.

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A girl is sitting at a desk looking at a tablet. We only see the back of her head. On the tablet screen is a color palette and a drawing of a brown and red farm.

Resources for Using iPads in Grades 3-5

Looking for advice on integrating iPads in grades 3-5? In this curated guide, we've compiled resources to help you find apps, learn about best practices, and explore ideas for engaging activities.

Illio of a hand and arm in a suit holding a feather quill pen

The Power of Poetry in Primary Classrooms

Poetry is an effective tool for broadening elementary students' reading choices, strengthening sentence-level skills, teaching ELLs about English, and reinforcing learning across many subjects.

5 Ways Literature Can Teach Global Lessons in Elementary Classes

Becky Morales, creator of Kid World Citizen, offers five ideas for using literature about children and families in other parts of the world to broaden the minds of U.S. elementary students.

Building Brain Literacy in Elementary Students

Neurologist, teacher, and author Judy Willis discusses the benefits of teaching elementary students how their brains work.

Common Core Standard: Third Grade Math Strategies

Mary Beth Hertz suggests some student-centered learning methods to meet the Common Core requirement of teaching multiplication and division to third graders.

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Station Rotation: Differentiating Instruction to Reach All Students
Article

Station Rotation: Differentiating Instruction to Reach All Students

Rotation stations allow students to learn in a range of modalities, while making differentiation manageable for one teacher.

2 43
Morning Meetings: Building Community in the Classroom
Article

Morning Meetings: Building Community in the Classroom

Starting the day with this 15-minute activity helps students regulate their emotions and focus on the day’s learning.

166 250 views
A father and his two sons do a project together.
Article

Freeing Students—and Teachers—From Homework

A second-grade teacher explains how she got rid of mandatory homework—and the surprising results she found when she did.

1,869 11,857 views
A student at work in class on a project of his choosing
Article

Genius Hour in Elementary School

A teacher shares what she did and what she learned when she implemented Genius Hour in her fifth-grade class.

1 4,491 20,408 views
Two students look at their phones in class.
Article

3 Tips for Managing Phone Use in Class

Setting cell phone expectations early is key to accessing the learning potential of these devices and minimizing the distraction factor.

9 942 16,314 views
Five first grade girls sit at a round table painting portraits of sunflowers.
Article

Playful Inquiry for Elementary Students

Six suggestions for bringing a key idea from a Reggio Emilia–inspired school to your K–5 classroom.

1 1,012 3,715 views
A young girl imagines that a pile of small boxes on a table are a house complete with electricity, with a plane and hot-air balloons flying above.
Article

Stirring Students’ Imaginations

Three strategies for helping upper elementary and middle school students develop their mind’s eye.

2 264 2,158 views

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A young boy in a large-striped red and blue polar shirt is sitting at his desk with his head down in a book.
Article

What Doesn't Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

The number one concern that I hear from educators is lack of time, particularly lack of instructional time with students. Although we can't entirely solve the time problem, we can mitigate it by carefully analyzing our use of class time.

122 55,817 1,303,557 views
Article

7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills

If you're concerned that a) elementary school students don't have the ability to code, b) there's no room in the curriculum, and c) you don't possess coding chops to teach programming skills, throw out those worries. Explore these free, or almost free, tools...

44 335 767,094 views
Article

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

Rather than intimidating young readers with ancient pedagogy, encourage and empower them with livelier strategies such as partner reading or the manic Crazy Professor Game.

84 6,424 485,691 views
A girl looks at a math app on a tablet screen.
Article

Using Math Apps to Increase Understanding

These 10 free or low-cost apps turn learning math into a game.

7 1,560 403,588 views
Article

22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

Kindergarten inclusion teacher Trisha Riche' inspires her students -- and her readers -- to play, learn and teach outside of the box.

31 975 267,440 views
photo of teacher in front of an engaged classroom
Article

6 Engaging End-of-Year Projects

Consider one of these six engaging and creative student projects to wrap of the school year.

20 5,886 244,012 views
Article

Motivating the Unmotivated

A simple, no-cost video chat program motivates unruly, disengaged elementary and middle school students through relationships with high school students who demonstrate the value of education.

36 2,505 235,850 views

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