George Lucas Educational Foundation

Starting the School Year Lessons

Starting the School Year Lessons

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If you are getting ready for back to school and in search of lesson ideas that will transition your students back to “learn” mode and also facilitate an atmosphere for hands-on activities, I have created four free lessons any teacher can use. Lesson A ( Getting Started and Getting to Know Each Other. Lesson B ( The Interactive Student Notebook (ISN). Lesson C ( Learning Styles and Working with Others. Lesson D ( Automating Classroom Procedures to Save Instructional Time. These lessons were created for our blog site ( where we post monthly free lessons.

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Ron Peck's picture
Ron Peck
H.S. Social Studies teacher from Medford, Oregon.

Thanks Brian! Great resources to get teachers started.

Donna Krause's picture

Thanks for the resources, I started using an interactive notebook during the second semester last year and my students really loved it and it turned into a great review and study aid.
My challenge this year is to transition to a digital notebook. Our school is going paperless, all books are on a digital device that also has google docs, notebooks, internet access.... Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Brian Thomas's picture
Brian Thomas
A Passion for Teaching!

Donna, thanks for the comment. I know of several teachers who are wanting to take the ISN digital. Some have found sites like something that they can use. I also stumbled upon a website called that allows users to upload pdf docs, distribute them, have people annotate their own version, and then could email back to you to upload on wikis and class blogs. At TCI, our next major move is going to be working with our student digital materials...we've got an interactive text to go with our materials...we're now looking at how we can take the best of these web tools out there and make a state-of-the-art student notebook. Sites like the ones above are a good start though. Hope this helps!

Karen McMillan's picture
Karen McMillan
Seventh Grade Teacher from Pleasant Hill, CA

Brian, thank you for these great resources! I used interactive notebooks for the first time last year, and it didn't go well for us. I don't think I introduced the idea well enough. Your materials will be a tremendous help in getting the students to understand the process! Thank you!!

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