George Lucas Educational Foundation

Student Engagement

What strategies really work to involve students in their own learning? Discover and share ideas.

  • Teaching Strategies

    Ramping Up Student Performance

    Techniques for introducing new material and feedback to students throughout a lesson—a way to spark deeper insights and learning.
  • Student Engagement

    When Am I Ever Going to Use This?

    High school students ask this question partly to challenge the teacher’s authority, but they may really want to know the answer.
  • Student Engagement

    7 Ways to Spark Engagement

    Strengthening students’ sense of connectedness to their learning is a worthwhile goal, and there are some simple ways to do it.
  • Classroom Management

    30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

    Most teachers use silencing methods, such as flicking the lights or ringing a call bell. This article explores some additional ideas categorized by grade bands.
  • Maker Education

    Learning Problem Solving and Growth Mindset in a Makerspace

    Makerspaces build students’ cognitive abilities while fostering independence, perseverance, and self-regulation.
  • Classroom Management

    19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

    The year I started teaching seventh- to twelfth-grade English in Minneapolis, Prince launched his song about urban ruin, "Sign o' the Times." That song was an apt musical backdrop for the lives of my students, most of whom lived in poverty and challenged me daily. Fortunately, classroom order improved when I learned that successful classroom management depends on conscientiously executing a few big strategies and a lot of little ones.
  • Curriculum Planning

    5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices

    We teachers are always looking to innovate, so, yes, it's essential that we try new things to add to our pedagogical bag of tricks. But it's important to focus on purpose and intentionality -- and not on quantity. So what really matters more than "always trying something new" is the reason behind why we do what we do.
  • Classroom Management

    5 Quick Classroom-Management Tips for Novice Teachers

    When it comes to managing a classroom, most of what we learn as new teachers is trial by fire. It's also smart to heed the advice of those who have walked -- and stumbled -- before you. If you are struggling with discipline, here are five tips that you can start using right away.
  • Classroom Management

    Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

    When presented with new material, standards, and complicated topics, we need to be focused and calm as we approach our assignments. We can use brain breaks and focused-attention practices to positively impact our emotional states and learning. They refocus our neural circuitry with either stimulating or quieting practices that generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.
  • Teaching Strategies

    The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

    Knowledge is a curse. Knowing things isn't bad itself, but it causes unhealthy assumptions -- such as forgetting how hard it was to learn those things in the first place. It's called the Curse of Knowledge. In this post, we'll identify how the Curse of Knowledge affects educators. Then we'll outline seven ways to alleviate the curse. The ultimate goal is to improve instruction.
  • Learning Environments

    Building a 21st-Century Learning Space

    A community raised $6 million to construct an innovative 30,000-square-foot facility complete with makerspaces and learning labs.
  • Game-Based Learning

    Turning Math Into a Game

    Building a sense of play around math problems encourages students to engage and collaborate.
  • Student Engagement

    5 Ways to Make Class Discussions More Exciting

    Classroom discussions have been a staple of teaching forever, beginning with Socrates. I have taught using discussions, been a student in discussions, and observed other teachers' discussions thousands of times -- at least. Some have been boring, stifling or tedious enough to put me to sleep. Others have been so stimulating that I was sad to see them end. The difference between the two is obviously how interesting the topic is, but equally important is the level of student participation.
  • Teaching Strategies

    22 Powerful Closure Activities

    Too many university supervisors and administrators criticize the absence of lesson closure, the activity that ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression. Like contracting your bicep at the top of a dumbbell curl, closure squeezes an extra oomph into a lesson. Find 22 closure strategies in this article by Todd Finley.
  • Student Engagement

    9 Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics

    Keep your high school math students engaged with these techniques.