George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work

Our flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn.

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Allowing students to move the furniture can help you differentiate instruction and give your students more agency in their learning.

Examples That Work

A poster pinned on the wall drawn by students that says "Be A Friend"

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.

7 216 71,563 views
Four students wearing snow shoes sitting on a mound of snow

Symonds Elementary's music, art, PE, and media teachers weave their practices into the fabric of the community, getting to know each student while enriching the school culture.

97 10,400 views
Two girls giving each other a high-five

Symonds Elementary brings social-emotional learning and individualized instruction into every classroom and to every child, ensuring an environment where students feel safe, valued, and engaged.

1 280
photo of a teacher-librarian in the library

A 21st-century librarian can inspire a school by modeling responsive teaching, advocating for student involvement, facilitating new approaches to writing, and encouraging user-centered spaces.

2 556 15,848 views
Instructional Coaching: Seeding District-Wide Innovation

At Albemarle County Public Schools, teacher-driven instructional coaching supports teachers in their professional development, helps them to engage their students in authentic learning, and spreads innovative practices district-wide.

121 18,345 views
Maker Education: Reaching All Learners

At Albemarle County Public Schools, maker education fosters student autonomy, ignites student interest, and empowers students to embrace their own learning.

2 95 29,475 views
Kids working independently sitting in a canoe, and in groups at a small round table and a square table at floor height

By redefining failure as part of learning, we give children choices to take risks, opportunities to excel, and the support to grow into their potential.

2 957 11,639 views

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Teaching Grade School Students How to Make Global Impact

The John Stanford International School has been a model for developing global-awareness curricula. Now they’ve expanded their lessons to teach students how to take action to help others.

9 355 11,925 views
A closeup of a teenage girl sitting at her desk, smiling. One hand is resting on an opened notebook, and her other hand is holding a pencil above a sheet of paper she's writing on. Other students are sitting throughout the classroom.

Raise your underserved students' expectations by raising your own, and create a series of reachable, data-based goals, scaffolding your instruction and mitigating their fear of failure.

423 15,105 views
Kids on the playground

How a resource-strapped elementary school became a top-performing school with a homegrown, easy-to-implement program of differentiated instruction.

8 324 15,105 views
PBL and Arts: Empowering Students to Craft Beautiful Work
School 21 | Grades pre-K to 13

Learn how to bring cross-curricular, arts-infused project-based learning into your classroom.

7 208 21,051 views
How Teachers Collaborate Online and in School

The Vail School District in southern Arizona developed a wiki for teachers to share lesson plans and resources. Today, the wiki is a smash hit, and textbooks are a thing of the past.

4 71 14,612 views
Critical Thinking Wins the Day at a KIPP High School

Suggestions from educators at KIPP King Collegiate High School on how to help develop and assess critical-thinking skills in your students.

2 64 19,793 views
Fit Lit: How Movement Impacts Learning
Casey Middle School | Grades 6-8

Students at Casey Middle learn more (and feel good about it) in a combined language arts/fitness class that boosts their cognition with aerobic and anaerobic activities.

9 724 23,347 views

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