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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Solving Real-World Issues Through Problem-Based Learning

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago
20 911 10,963 views

When Behavior Charts Don't Work, Throw Them Out!

Last comment 6 days 4 hours ago
53 2,743 34,633 views

Free Apps to Support Vocabulary Acquisition by ELLs

Last comment 2 days 13 hours ago
6 391 60,794 views

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Teacher watching while a student writes
Article

Teaching Syllables Can Mask Meaningful Morphemes

To help beginning readers grasp the difference between written and spoken language, start with the meaning of the words rather than their syllabic breakdown.

2 317 11,710 views
Boy at his desk laughing at something on his laptop
Article

Mystery Location Calls: Communicating Across Cultures

In a Mystery Location Call, students practice effective and respectful communication along with their research and deduction skills to locate their partner class on a map.

153 2,492 views
Teacher writing with a pencil surrounded by five young engaged students
Article

Teaching Students the Skills of Expert Readers

The seven strategies of highly skilled readers include activating, summarizing, monitoring and clarifying, visualizing and organizing, searching and selecting, questioning, and inferring.

6 1,402 53,070 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 5,886 243,414 views
Three boys and a girl standing in front of class doing a presentation
Article

PBL Pilot: Formative Assessment and PBL

Two fifth grade teachers explain how the driving question and the need to know list are a naturally fit for their PBL pilot program.

9 45 16,693 views
Teachers and students holding their origami creations
Article

Cultivating Cultural Assets: An After-School Story

Make every family feel welcome by inviting parents from different cultures to share their language, heritage, and stories in after-school programs.

5 145 8,222 views
Students gathered around a table playing a board game
Article

PBL Pilot: 4 Strategies to Implement and Spread PBL in Your School

Two fifth grade teachers advocate trust, respect, and inclusion when sharing the practices and results of their PBL pilot program with on-site colleagues.

8 1,140 6,976 views

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Travel Journals: Student-Created Textbooks
Schools That Work

Travel Journals: Student-Created Textbooks

Each student at Normal Park Museum Magnet School creates a unique “travel journal” to explore the themes of science and social studies units.

22 525 31,892 views
Article

Student Apps for Winter Reading

Edutopia blogger Monica Burns shares a generous list of winter reading apps and ebooks for elementary students in class and with their families.

12 232 31,643 views
Article

Pen Pals in the 21st Century

While many consider the pen pal an analog age artifact, blogger and teacher Lisa Mims demonstrates how this very human form of communication is alive and well in her classroom - and relevant to her curriculum.

9 20 31,643 views
Article

Meaningful Connections: Objectives and Standards

Math teacher and teaching strategist Karen Lea looks at meaningful ways to connect learning objectives with Common Core State Standards.

2 128 31,144 views
Series Reading: Tracking, Rewarding, and Encouraging Literacy
Schools That Work

Series Reading Program: Creating a Culture of Reading

At Walter Bracken STEAM Academy, 100 percent of the fifth-grade students are meeting grade-level fluency standards in reading.

30 1,295 30,895 views
A photo of elementary school children listening to a naturalist at the zoo.
Article

PBL Pilot: Matching PBL With Traditional Grading

Fifth grade teachers reflect on grading students in their PBL pilot program without traditional homework, while keeping parents informed and reconsidering the meaning of grades

18 740 30,895 views
Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance
video

Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance (Research Made Relevant Series)

In rural New Hampshire, fifth-grade teacher Amy Lyon has created a curriculum based on researcher Angela Duckworth’s ideas about grit. Students set and work toward their own long-term goals, learning valuable lessons about dealing with frustration and...

2 452 30,646 views

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