The Chalk Blog

School Year Reflections - Notes to Self...

For many educators, summer break has begun and it’s transition time.  During the school year, our students have inspired and challenged us - often both on any given day! We’ve planned and paced, listened and learned, taught and re-taught content along with every other standard assigned to us! And now, at the beginning of the blessed summer, some teachers will reflect on what worked and what needs improvement for next year’s teaching and learning. (Or, maybe this blog post will spark an idea for next year’s transition time!) 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Tips and Resources for Teaching Summer School


**This blog was originally published in 2017, but we thought it would be a good  topic to highlight for those special teachers that are embracing the adventure that is 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

Project Based Learning - Getting Started! [VIDEO]

How might your classroom look different next school year? If you're ready to embrace Project-Based Learning, we'd love to share some strategies!



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Topics: Instructional Strategies

Teaching and Gardening

In my first years of teaching, I believed I could never do enough to support my students. I wanted spectacular outcomes for every single 6th grader on my roster. I struggled to “achieve” as a teacher, and in doing so, I unknowingly put a lot of pressure on my students and myself.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Tips to Organize and Declutter Your Classroom

The topic of minimalism has been popping up all around me the past few years. According to the website The Minimalists, “minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” Eager to find out how this movement could impact my own life, I picked up some books on the subject from the local library and set out on a journey to downsize, declutter, and make way for more living. I’d like to share with you what I learned and how these concepts might help you as teachers design more organized, vibrant classrooms!

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Topics: Teaching Advice, Classroom Management

Creating Your Super Hero Teaching Team

It’s Time to Form Your Own “Super” Team….

I personally can’t get enough of superhero movies and usually have their release date circled on my calendar. Of course, I NEVER go on the first night! (the lines are insane and if I felt like battling crowds I’d just step into the hallway during passing periods! )… 

...but I guess it’s always a good thing to have something to look forward to. On a few occasions, I’ve even had debates with my students about WHO is the greatest superhero and, to be honest, there are better choices than others (potentially a future blogging topic!). Truly great superheroes, however, never work alone…and neither do great teachers.

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Topics: Teaching Advice, Leadership

Limping to the Finish Line

Not so long ago, I was in your shoes, excepting that this job at Learners Edge was waiting for me in mid-June.

I was teaching high school English to sophomores and juniors. I was 5 months pregnant. My classroom got AMPLE afternoon sun from the south. No air conditioning. Stuffy, even with the 3 oscillating fans I had positioned around the room to blow the hot air around. (Lovely for the “blooming” pregnant woman, by the way.)  

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Topics: Teaching Advice

10 Tips for a Sensational Summer

It’s a wrap!  Most students and teachers have cheered for the last bell of the school year and are already sailing into summer!  Beyond the usual—family vacations, home projects, professional development, day-dreaming and downtime—you might be wishing for a surefire plan to enjoy every single day of summer. Here are 10 quick tips and links to inspire your summer success:

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Classroom Organization: Managing Absent Work [VIDEO]

Managing make-up work can be a daunting task for both students and teachers. Learn how  to create a homework station for students to access in your classroom to ensure students have the materials and information they need when they return to school.


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Topics: Classroom Management, Video

Happy Mother's Day!

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Topics: Learners Edge News

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