Classroom Strategies


Effective teachers need an arsenal of strategies for instruction and classroom management. Use the simple tools and approaches below to create a more inclusive environment that promotes student learning

Religious Diversity in the Classroom: Fostering a Culture of Respect

How do you make both of these students feel safe, supported and respected? By creating a classroom culture in which religious diversity is respected is accepted.

Critical Practices for Anti-bias Teaching

This professional development seminar is designed to help teachers take action and create the conditions that bring the main components of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy to life.

American Promise

American Promise, directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, explores black male achievement and shines a light on the importance of parents, educators and community in the success of our young black men.

Engaging Curriculum

"Why do we have to learn this?" It's a question that teachers dread, and it speaks to a curriculum that, for whatever reason, doesn't engage students. Maybe it's a curriculum that is outdated. Perhaps it's presented in such a way that it lacks luster. Maybe it's devoid of any emotional connection for a student.


Motivated students want to learn and are less likely to be disruptive or disengage from the work of the classroom. Motivation stems from numerous factors: interest in the subject matter, perceptions of its usefulness, general desire to achieve, self-confidence and self-esteem, patience and persistence, among them.

Inviting Engagement

U.S. classrooms are growing more diverse — ethnically, culturally and linguistically. In response, teachers and educational advocates are employing new strategies, and adapting tried-and-true strategies, to better serve diverse parent populations.

Using Plain Terms

Beyond the language we speak, the words we choose can help or hinder the effectiveness of communication with parents and guardians. How do our word choices assist or prevent necessary interaction? How might our communication practices reflect power, instead of partnership?

Differentiated Instruction

If educators have learned anything in the last decade of school reform initiatives it is that one size does not fit all. Differentiated Instruction (DI) is an approach where teachers proactively plan varied approaches to what students need to learn, how they will learn it and how they express what they've learned.

Mythtakes - Working With Racially and Ethnically Diverse Students

This professional development activity examines common beliefs that help and hinder work with racially and ethnically diverse students.

Interactive Reader

Interactive read aloud places more responsibility on students to share what they are thinking in a way that simulates an authentic reading experience.


Since successful readers read, monitor their comprehension, pause, think about what they have read, and resume reading, teachers can simulate this in a read aloud at any grade level. In this way, teachers who invite more student participation enable students to "pause" the read aloud to share what they are thinking and to "restart" the read aloud when the thought has been sufficiently considered.



National Board Certified elementary school teacher, Kristen Miller, shares how she uses cubing to build higher-order thinking skills with her students.

Using Primary Sources

Listen as 4th Grade teacher, Kristen Miller, describes using a viewfinder to help her students test the reliability of primary source art in her social studies classroom.

'The Capacity for Connection'

In this special Q & A, educators Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia G. Ramsey, authors of the book, What If All the Kids are White?, provide early grades educators with practical ideas on preparing white students for a multicultural world.

Honoring Home Languages

Teachers are often a young immigrant's first regular, ongoing contact with someone outside their home community and culture. It's a relationship that can provide the emotional scaffolding necessary to cross the linguistic and cultural divide between country of origin and country of residency.

ELL Best Practices Collection

Our ELL Best Practices collection includes a variety of resources that will help you ensure your school environment is welcoming to English language learners (ELLs) and their families.

A New Set of Rules

Create a classroom constitution as the school year kicks off.

Democratic Classrooms

Educators possess different philosophies and styles for their teaching. Some work from an authoritarian perspective, leveraging their power as the teacher to control student behavior and dictate classroom participation. Others employ a more democratic approach, sharing power with students and supporting them in managing their own behaviors.

Family Engagement

Most teachers have a technique or two in their back-to-school tool kits for introducing themselves to families and taking those first steps to engage parents and other caregivers in the classroom and the student learning process. And yet, family engagement is a year-long process.

Culturally Relevant Curriculum

Curriculum, in its most simple, essential, commonly understood form, is the "what" of education. It is crucial to academic performance and essential to culturally responsive pedagogy. Even the most "standard" curriculum decides whose history is worthy of study, whose books are worthy of reading, which curriculum and text selections that include myriad voices and multiple ways of knowing, experiencing, and understanding life can help students to find and value their own voices, histories, and cultures.

Overcoming Language Barriers

Many U.S. cities with large, established ethnic enclaves have long sought to welcome newly arrived immigrants and their children. Yet, small towns and cities have less experience identifying and meeting the needs and interests of new immigrants. How can you make inroads when the path to much-needed community assets and resources isn't so well worn — or when it is well worn, but not so well traveled?

How Stereotypes Undermine Test Scores

Subtle changes in test environments can improve standardized test scores among students of color and girls.

Mutual Learning Through Conversation

Certain encounters help young students develop values and virtues that open spaces in their minds and hearts so they can see the world and its people in broader terms.

Controversial Subjects in the Classroom

Invariably, issues are raised in classrooms that bring charged responses from students. How can educators set the stage for safe, respectful dialogue and learning?