The Chalk Blog

Teacher Inspiration: Lessons Learned from a Student

 Every single one of our students has a story….

Is it just me or has the entire Prom experience morphed into a full-blown production? Online videos are posted, both expecting and un-expecting dates-to-be are surprised in front of large groups of peers, and more is made of the “question” than the event.  Yes, I get it…It’s almost a competition and I like to win.  There was an occasion, however, when a different type of “promposal” took place for all of the wrong reasons.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Learners Edge Launches New Continuing Education Course: Teach Like a Historian

Make History Come Alive! 

Teach your students to “think like historians” in our engaging new Learners Edge course! 5017: Teach Like an Historian: Teaching Historical Investigations in Social Studies is designed for middle and high school social studies teachers looking for new ways to engage students with the past. At the center of this course is the text, Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer? Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12. The product of nearly twenty years of social studies teaching, author Bruce Lesh’s work is based in real-world applications, practical strategies, and a healthy understanding of the fun and challenges of teaching middle and high school students. We love this text, and we think you’ll love the chance to share the power of historical thinking with your students!  

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Topics: Content Areas

Teaching Tips to Increase Classroom Conversation

What’s the condition of conversation in your classroom today? Are students engaging with each other - exchanging ideas, building relationships, and learning together? Are you connecting in face-to-face dialogue with your students throughout the school day? Is there a buzz of talk underlying daily learning outcomes? Are students looking up from digital devices routinely and strategically to discuss new learning?  If so - congrats, keep going!  If no - keep reading for some conversation inspiration! 

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Topics: Teaching Advice

Technology for Teachers: Google Keep- A Busy Teacher’s Best Friend

I did it!  I found the perfect app to help organize my busy personal AND work life.  It integrates so easily into my current Google workflow and is accessible on all of my devices. It’s called Google Keep and if you haven’t experienced its wonders, then you are totally missing out.  

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Topics: Technology

Teacher Wellness: 5 Lessons from Happy Teachers

Great teachers are happy teachers! Happy teachers feel confident, energized, and purposeful. They face new challenges with curiosity and resiliency. People who are genuinely happy also tend to be physically healthier and have healthier relationships. But what happens when you don’t feel happy? Teaching is joyful, but it is also hard. Take a few minutes now to learn how to foster happiness each day with these helpful tips. You deserve it! 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Personalized Learning Network [VIDEO]

A Personalized Learning Network (PLN) is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, university professors, and experts around the world. Learn some simple tips to help you get started in establishing your own PLN and access new ways to communicate, collaborate, and build community.

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Topics: Video, Technology

Literacy Enrichment - National Poetry Month Ideas

Welcome, awe-inspiring April!  You are my favorite month and here’s why: 

  1. Despite severe winter fatigue this year, we keep the faith that spring will appear!
  2. Your showers bring May flowers.  
  3.  You are National Poetry Month.

You don’t have to be a poetry super-fan like me or teach language arts to engage poetry in your classroom instruction. Poetry has the power to connect all of us - students and teachers alike - quickly and deeply. In celebration of April, surviving winter to welcoming spring, please allow me to offer some of National Poetry Month’s highlights from former 6th graders and me. 

How to enjoy National Poetry Month: 

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Topics: Literacy

Teaching Self-Compassion and Self-Confidence

My friend, Anne, is a second grade teacher.
Anne and I became friends at our gym, and we always take the time to catch up when we see each other. Last week, I asked Anne how the school year was going, and she responded, “Today, teaching was like having a birthday party for 28 seven-year-olds…six times in a row.”
No wonder she sleeps in on Saturdays.

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Topics: Teaching Excellence

Care and Push: Building Relationships with Students

His name was Tony.  He had a tough exterior, and was not easily convinced of anyone’s care.  He would test me with his apathetic words, his helplessness, and avoidance, yet I persisted.  I started to see a sparkle in his eyes when I asked him about his little sister or how many points his favorite football player scored.  I noticed him choosing more often than not to work close to me so that he could get help if he needed it.   It took months, but slowly I was able to build a level of trust with Tony that allowed me to push his learning in directions and heights he never thought possible.  It was a beautiful journey to watch.  It’s the reason I became a teacher.    

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Digital Literacy & 3 Ideas for Digging Deeper

Teaching reading is not for the faint of heart - it’s serious work that deserves constant attention, adaptation, and adjustment. And now, to ensure reading success for all students, educators have to engage and embrace a maze of digital literacy tech tools. As a veteran teacher who began teaching before personal computers were accessible in schools (please don’t do the math), keeping up with technology became a professional priority. I felt proud (and scared) of every teaching tech step, but it didn’t take long before my 6th grade students were racing ahead and I had stay in gear to keep up every single day of my teaching career.   

Even though digital literacy presents powerful teaching and learning potential, there are daunting challenges in a world exploding with screens, causing even the toughest of teachers to wonder:  

  • How does one teacher guide the ever-increasing interactions of all students and their screens during any given school day?   
  • How does one teacher evaluate and identify best apps or tools to put in the hands of each student based on specific literacy and learning needs?   
  • How does one teacher develop a trust for tech tools that expand or expire by the day?   
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Topics: 21st Century Learning

Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

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