George Lucas Educational Foundation

3-5 Upper Elementary

Explore and share tips, strategies, and resources for helping students develop in elementary school grades 3-5.

  • Reducing the Stigma Around Student Mental Illness—A Day at a Time

    Driven by high rates of youth suicide and depression, some states are now providing the legal backing for students to take a ‘mental health day.’
    Nora Fleming
  • How to Keep Your Elementary Students Focused

    5 research-backed tips to keep your elementary students on-task.
  • Sparking Curiosity With Self-Directed Learning

    Teacher-designed stations linked to core skills prompt students to learn while exploring their interests.
  • The Sensory Room: Helping Students With Autism Focus and Learn

    Imagine a safe space where students with autism can go to calm their bodies and then get back to the business of learning.
  • Making Students Feel Safe

    A trauma-informed approach ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 
  • There’s a Cell Phone in Your Student’s Head

    A 2017 study found that cell phones that were turned off and stashed away silently reasserted themselves—distracting working students anyway.
  • Time to Play: More State Laws Require Recess

    Unstructured playtime is making a comeback in schools as frustrated teachers, parents, and advocacy groups demand legislative action.
    Brittany Shammas
  • A Daily Support System for Students

    Students who need extra social and emotional support have a quick check-in with an adult at the start and end of each day.
  • Bringing a Dog to School

    A veteran teacher and administrator makes the case for having a therapy dog in elementary school.
  • Portrait of a Turnaround Principal

    What does it take to turn a low-performing school around? A principal finds success by focusing on both love and high expectations.
  • A Public School Makes the Case for ‘Montessori for All’

    A Title I public school in rural South Carolina is proving that Montessori education can work well anywhere.
  • What Doesn’t Work: Literacy Practices We Should Abandon

    The number one concern that I hear from educators is lack of time, particularly lack of instructional time with students. Although we can't entirely solve the time problem, we can mitigate it by carefully analyzing our use of class time.
  • Designing Flexible Seating With Students

    A veteran elementary teacher shares what he’s learned from eight years of building a student-centered environment.
  • 60-Second Strategy: 3-Read Protocol

    Demystify math word problems with this simple technique that helps kids see the story beyond the numbers.
  • Supporting LGBTQ Students in Elementary School

    Three strategies elementary school teachers can use to foster a sense of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students.