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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A closeup of two young boys and a young girl sitting at a cafeteria table, eating lunch, laughing and smiling together.
Article

Lunchtime Is Club Time

Enrich your students' day with lunchtime clubs, offering them an opportunity for focused fun -- whether it's art, acting, creative writing, or Doctor Who.

1 44 2,242 views
photo of a student using a computer
Article

Evaluating Websites as Information Sources

Using a six-point strategy, teachers can help students learn about responsible web research by assessing the validity of most information that they’ll encounter online.

4 216 17,690 views
Young girl concentrating on writing with pencils in each hand
Article

5 Tips to Kick Start the School Year

Through podcasts, web pages, mailed invitations, a "Meat 'n' Greet," and a final email blast, you can build up your incoming students' back-to-school excitement.

10 660 36,626 views
Three young girls and a boy are reading on bean bag chairs in class, each chair a different color: green, red, teal, and blue. Behind them are two bookshelves, and on the wall are mini posters with different colors written on them.
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Design Thinking and the Deskless Classroom

Use design thinking (brainstorming, prototyping, testing, building, and reflecting) to co-create your classroom environment with the students who will be learning in it.

26 1,121 46,343 views
A young black girl is laying down on top of about 300 books stacked together on top of each other, looking up at the camera, smiling.
Article

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Use young children's understanding of differences to teach social justice through age-appropriate literature, news stories, anti-bias lessons, familiar examples, and problem solving.

6 4,401 39,865 views
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 52,770 1,296,762 views
A young girl with curly, light brown, golden hair and a pink shirt is sitting, resting her arm on a yellow couch, reading on a tablet in her house.
Article

8 Fantastic Apps for Summer Reading on iPads

To engage young readers over the summer, hand them an iPad and loaded with eBooks. Here are just eight of the many reading apps available.

8 287 21,178 views

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photo of students with tablets
Article

6 iPad Apps for Creative Writing

Edutopia blogger Monica Burns, recognizing that written storytelling doesn't come easily to every child, has hunted down six iPad apps that will bring fun and creative challenge to learning this essential real-world skill.

17 7,987 81,223 views
Article

Why Storytelling in the Classroom Matters

Teachers, by their nature, are storytellers. You can improve this skillset with seven steps for engaging younger students through narrative.

16 4,936 78,981 views
Reteach and Enrich: How to Make Time for Every Student
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Reteach and Enrich: How to Make Time for Every Student

See step-by-step how this Arizona elementary school gives its students the additional time they need to master core concepts and elevate their learning to the next level.

37 696 77,984 views
How to Teach Math as a Social Activity
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How to Teach Math as a Social Activity

A master teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, establishes a cooperative-learning environment in an upper-elementary classroom.

71 1,016 72,254 views
A poster pinned on the wall drawn by students that says "Be A Friend"
Article

The Responsive Classroom: "Why Is Everyone So Nice Here?"

Through Responsive Classroom practices such as Social Thinking, Symonds Elementary teaches its students daily that who they learn with is as important as what they learn.

7 3,419 71,755 views
Article

Modifying the Flipped Classroom: The "In-Class" Version

Guest blogger Jennifer Gonzalez proposes the In-Class Flip, a modified version of the flipped-learning model that incorporates the video lecture element as one of several stations that students visit during their class period.

87 2,776 70,260 views
Article

Classroom Behavior? There's an App for That

Fifth-grade teacher Lisa Mims describes how she uses the ClassDojo app to improve student behavior, share data and save time.

36 573 68,516 views

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