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

Teacher standing talking with a student as they watch a girl pouring liquid into cups at a counter

PBL can align with CCSS when teachers, knowing their kids' interests and abilities, let projects evolve to meet student needs as well as the standards.

8 139 10,465 views
A boy and two girls sitting together talking about the project they're working on

By encouraging students' wonder and recording their "I Wonder" questions, teachers can view those questions holistically and use them to develop lessons and projects that will harness student curiosity.

4 490 33,885 views
Teacher reviewing work with two students in front of a window with flowers in the window sill

Crellin Elementary, a small, rural K-5 school in Oakland, Maryland, takes hands-on, project-based learning to a level that extends far beyond a few one-off projects per year.

385
Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach

Strategies like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and supportive small groups help Symonds meet the academic and social needs of their students.

5 589 54,016 views
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.

7 225 71,755 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 10,465 views
Man singing and playing the guitar in the gym full of students and teachers

Graduating fifth-grade students reflect on their struggles, growth, and achievements within the positive, caring environment of SEL-based Symonds Elementary School.

233 997 views

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Daily Assemblies: Deepening Relationships Through Ritual and Recognition

Students at Urban Prep Charter Academies are celebrated, supported, and empowered through their daily community assembly.

1 187 22,537 views
Mc2 Stem High School | Grades 9-12

Innovative and effective practices at Cleveland's MC2 STEM High School are driving learning and higher achievement for students in a district where every student qualifies for free- or reduced-price meals.

67 17,192 views
Low-Stakes Writing: Writing to Learn, Not Learning to Write

University Park Campus School uses low-stakes writing to scaffold instruction, develop student voice, and foster critical thinkers.

11 810 33,368 views
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 15,946 views
Advisory: Building Relationships for Student Success

Nashville Big Picture High School shares many ways to build intentional relationships with students -- strategies that can work at schools of any size.

9 186 12,838 views
Teacher sitting at a table working with three young boys using markers

Resources on This Page: Global Competence Unit Plans International School Symposium

4 814 15,697 views
A principal and two teachers listening

At Cochrane Collegiate Academy, teachers credit their principal with helping them continually improve their practice through effective PD, ongoing support, and mutual trust.

3 385 15,697 views

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