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

An outdoor covered hallway with 25+ logos painted on the wall and door

Tapping your community for funds, resources, and labor isn't easy, but with planning, persistence, and good will, rallying local support for a major school project benefits everyone.

42 1,726 views
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 14,100 views
Dad and daughter together smiling

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 86 8,631 views
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 4,314 views
Two boys at a table looking at cards printed with various items to determine want versus need

Franchising allows a single principal to lead multiple campuses concurrently. These individuals must be proven, trusted leaders given the flexibility to focus on the best results.

286 1,726 views
Teacher holding up Dorian's Rocket Math certificate that says he rocketed through subtraction facts

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.

8 939 7,644 views
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.

244 72,981 views

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Instructional Coaching:  Driving Meaningful Tech Integration
Hampton High School | Grades 9-12

With Hampton High's tech instructional coach, teachers have found a confidant, subject-area expert, co-teacher, and PD coordinator at their fingertips, enhancing smart, school-wide tech integration.

551 25,458 views
Thinking Big About Engagement
School Of The Future | Grades 6-8

Even the smallest concepts become big enough to grasp in this middle school science class, where teacher Rob Olazagasti gives students opportunities to learn by creating, remember by experiencing, and show what they know by teaching.

12 262 19,290 views
Boy wearing safety goggles working on a table saw
Mc2 Stem High School | Grades 9-12

Here's how one school designs rigorous projects that blend STEM with other core subjects. See how this strategy might work for you.

1 12 22,933 views
How KIPP Teachers Learn to Teach Critical Thinking

Professional development at KIPP King includes setting up "fishbowl" classroom configurations, assigning student roles, and other techniques for facilitating successful Socratic discussions.

3 305 24,017 views
Response to Intervention: Collaborating to Target Instruction

Meyer Elementary School's Response to Intervention practice has contributed to their ranking in the top five percent of all Michigan schools.

4 340 29,414 views
Teacher working with young students on laptops

Social media is becoming an essential tool for professional growth, curriculum planning, and student engagement. Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and other platforms offer endless educational possibilities.

801 22,440 views
Anatomy of a Project: Give Me Shelter

Juniors at Casco Bay High School, in Portland, Maine, explore homelessness by working in teams to make audio slide-show portraits.

3 58 10,976 views

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