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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See how students apply their literacy skills to explore science problems outside classroom walls.

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.

4 492 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.

5 614 54,918 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 3,374 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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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
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.

9 356 12,175 views
Infographic showing American spending habits. With nearly 20 percent of Americans living beyond their means, education about personal finance is critical. Research indicates that teaching finance to students yields greater money-management skills that car

Students who learn financial literacy skills gain a wealth of knowledge that will yield returns well into their future.

3 1,163 15,448 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.

434 15,198 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 14,917 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 14,949 views
Teaching Group Work: Building Student Collaboration and Agency

At University Park Campus School, students learn through group work that they have something to contribute.

7 373 24,490 views

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