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.

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    Eric Hestenes
  • What Productive Talk Looks Like in the Elementary Grades

    Using sentence stems to scaffold classroom discussions guides students to speak, actively listen, and build on each others’ ideas.
  • Using Diversity to Build a Culture of Belonging

    Academics and social skills are equally prioritized at this multilingual elementary school in Chicago, ranked one of the best in the city.
  • 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. 
  • 6 Elementary Reading Strategies That Really Work

    Strategies like choral reading and ear reading improve students’ reading fluency, expand their vocabulary, and increase their confidence.
  • The Evolution of a Trauma-Informed School

    Two years after Edutopia filmed trauma-informed practices at a Nashville school, we check in with the principal to see what has changed.
  • 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
  • The Power of Short Writing Assignments

    Brief writing prompts and responses help students in any discipline.
  • 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.
  • Optimizing Station Rotations in Blended Learning

    Using three stations effectively—teacher-led, online, and offline—should provide your students with plenty of ways to collaborate.
  • A Student-Driven Approach to Experiential Learning

    See how a Reggio Emilia–inspired elementary school in Australia fosters student interests to spark curiosity and joy in learning.
  • 60-Second Strategy: Respond, Reflect, and Review

    This simple activity helps students practice giving and receiving peer feedback—and gets them out of their desks.
  • Bringing a Dog to School

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