The Chalk Blog

Tips and Resources for Teaching Summer School

 

Every spring as the school year began to wind down, I began to gear up for summer school, or Extended School Year (ESY), which is specifically for students with special needs. Sometimes my teacher friends questioned my sanity for signing up for ESY in special education every summer, but I truly enjoyed it!ESY was the perfect opportunity for students to work on their academic and social/emotional/behavioral skills based on the needs outlined on their Individual Education Plans (IEPs) in a small, laid-back summertime setting. 

Please allow me to take you through a typical summer school/ESY morning. 

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Topics: Teaching Advice, Classroom Management

Reading Strategy: Making Predictions [VIDEO]

Want to get a bit deeper into reading strategies like making predictions and critical thinking? Catch this great video on using these literacy strategies to enhance student comprehension.

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Topics: Literacy

Collaborative Learning Strategies

 

We all know that group work can be a beast. Someone always does all the work, there’s tattling and infighting, and there’s always one kid who phones it in and puts their name on something at the last minute just to get credit. We won’t even get into parents who argue against group work because their child always gets the short end of the stick and carries the load for the others.      

Ugh. 

The above scenario is unfortunate, and all too common. But truthfully, group workcollaborative learning doesn’t have to be this way. Really!  

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Topics: Teaching Advice

Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month?

It takes 30 days to form a habit, and May has 31 days, so, that’s (nearly)… PERFECT! 

Stop what you’re doing right now ---and, if you are physically able, get up and go run around your house, or building. 

GO! I’m not kidding, GO! 

How long did it take? 

How do you feel?  

Just got back, and here’s how I’m feeling:  

  • embarrassed 
  • happy  
  • slightly out of breath 
  • motivated  
  • better able to concentrate   

ROI (Return on Investment) 

Besides the embarrassment factor, the increased feeling of happiness, motivation and better concentration are good returns on my investment. For the amount of time it took me to run around the building, I was paid back with better concentration, more motivation, and—I feel happier—bring on those endorphins! Not bad for a six minute investment. It takes 30 days to create a habit- May’s your month!

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Topics: Teaching Advice

Caring for the Mental Health of Students


May is Mental Health Awareness Month: a month to educate the public about mental health illnesses to reduce the stigma surrounding these disorders. There’s an increased focus on young people, as they try to navigate society while managing a very real illness. Children who are suffering from a mental health illness find it very difficult to concentrate, socialize, or learn, which can make going to school an overwhelming and difficult experience. 

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Topics: Special Populations

How to Create a Calm Box  [VIDEO]

In this video blog you will learn self-regulation strategies to use with students who need to take a break and calm themselves. With your student, you can build a box of calm with items that hit on all five senses. Students can then use their calm box during breaks.

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Topics: Instructional Strategies

Happy Mother's Day

Each day we move a little closer to the sidelines of their lives, which is where we belong, if we do our job right.  --Anna Quindlen                                                                                                            

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Learners Edge Announces Amazing Teacher Contest Grand-Prize-Winner

Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner, Lisa Clark of Idaho!

The Learners Edge Amazing Teacher contest recognizes amazing teachers that are making a difference in the lives of their students, their schools, their communities and ultimately society as a whole. Teachers play such a critical role in the development of our youth, that Learners Edge wanted to honor exceptional educators for their outstanding commitment to teaching and to their students.

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Topics: Learners Edge News

Learners Edge Announces Amazing Teacher Contest Winners

Congratulations to Patrick Callahan of Massachusetts and Paige Norman of Alaska.

Learners Edge is pleased to announce two, 2017 Amazing Teacher Contest winners. This year's winners have one thing in common: They are anything but ordinary.

The Learners Edge Amazing Teacher contest recognizes amazing teachers that are making a difference in the lives of their students, their schools, their communities and ultimately society as a whole. Teachers play such a critical role in the development of our youth, that Learners Edge wanted to honor exceptional educators for their outstanding commitment to teaching and to their students. The Grand Prize winner of the Amazing Teacher contest will be announced the week of May 8th. 

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Topics: Learners Edge News

How to Engage Students with a Writer's Workshop

What’s the deal with Writer’s Workshop?  Why does this proven instructional framework have such a positive reputation, yet remain so challenging to implement?  What are the obstacles to writer’s workshop that consistently cause teachers to struggle? How can we engage students in writing with a writer's workshop?

After teaching writing for 25 years, evaluating Learners Edge teacher coursework on writing instruction, and recently creating a new course called Writer’s Workshop: Engaging Students Using Mentor Texts and Writer’s Notebooks, I have some informed ideas and (shall we say?) strong opinions on this very question!

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Topics: Literacy

Insights...

from Great Teachers

At Learners Edge, we evaluate completed coursework that great teachers have submitted for their continuing education/professional development.

Often times, teachers knock our socks off with their insightful and meaningful material.

We use The Chalk Blog to highlight some of the coursework we receive and share teacher advice that may be helpful to you.

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