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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Garden-Based Learning: Engaging Students in Their Environment
Schools That Work

Garden-Based Learning: Engaging Students in Their Environment

From fairy gardens to garden towers, Walter Bracken STEAM Academy transformed its school grounds into a student-centered, garden-learning wonderland.

7 2,048 7,744 views
Dad and daughter together smiling
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"Welcome to School, Parents!"

Attract parent volunteers by giving them their own space and appointing a coordinator whose job it is to make them feel welcome, comfortable, and needed.

8 84 8,712 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.

30 160 27,118 views
Piggy-Bank Friday: Life Skills Through Financial Literacy
Schools That Work

Piggy-Bank Friday: Life Skills Through Financial Literacy

Through the Piggy-Bank Friday program, K-5 students at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy have saved over $30,000 in one year.

90 5,082 views
Interest-Based Electives: Engaging Students With STEAM Explorations
Schools That Work

Interest-Based Electives: Engaging Students With STEAM Explorations

Educators at Walter Bracken STEAM Academy engage students by letting them choose outside-the-box enrichment classes, like toy making, drones, and candy chemistry.  

1 1,228 9,922 views
Teacher holding up Dorian's Rocket Math certificate that says he rocketed through subtraction facts
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Inspiring Learning Through Incentives

Layering incentives at classroom, grade, and schoolwide levels creates a culture of positivity and achievement where students celebrate milestones in their individual and shared learning.

8 938 7,502 views
A large group of pre-teens are sitting on the floor of a large multipurpose room, smiling and laughing. Eleven chairs are lined up against the brown paneled, back wall, and three teachers are sitting in them.
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Brain Development and Adolescent Growth Spurts

As tweens enter a period of rapid prefrontal cortex development, familiarize them with their growing executive function skills by teaching time management and organizing information.

5 154 18,159 views

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You Only Get One "First Day of School"

Blogger and veteran teacher Lisa Mims reminds us that we only get one 'first day of school' (even we've already been there 28 times!) and offers seven tips for making a good impression on our students.

43 675 87,406 views
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Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares a classroom activity that helps K-8 students develop their ability to focus and pay better attention.

24 475 86,195 views
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Intervention for Failing Students: What Matters Most?

People, not programs, matter most when it comes to intervention for struggling students.

24 96 85,469 views
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Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply

Author and global ed advisor Homa Tavangar makes a case for why empathy is the most important back-to-school supply we can give our children.

28 5,170 84,500 views
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Activities to Build Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students

Filmmaker and blogger Randy Taran identifies "happiness skills" and suggests that we start teaching them at a young age.

1 565 84,016 views
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Classroom-Management Strategies for Elementary Teachers

Blogger and teacher Gaetan Pappalardo teaches educators on how to manage student behavior and needs. (Updated 01/2014)

96 322 83,774 views
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Techniques for Teaching Vocabulary to Elementary Students

Blogger Gaetan Pappalardo believes that using words in context and modeling inquisitiveness around words is the way to go. (Updated 01/2014)

42 190 83,532 views

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