The Chalk Blog

Caring for the Mental Health of Students [VIDEO]

Suicide is a difficult topic. Did you know that by talking about suicide, you actually help decrease its likelihood? To learn more about suicide prevention, join us for this short video blog, where you will learn how to increase suicide awareness, and ways to help students who may be struggling with mental illness. 

Please share the suicide lifeline number with your students: 1-800-273-TALK.

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Topics: Special Populations, Video

Vulnerability and the Art of What Makes a Great Teacher 

 Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”  

 Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead 

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Topics: Teaching Excellence

How to Increase Student Engagement with Flipgrid Fever

When #flipgridfever first began to show up in my Twitter feed last year, I was curious but not ready to figure out what the fuss was about.  It wasn’t until I attended a session on classroom apps that I got up close and personal with Flipgrid and recognized its brilliant application to the classroom and how it can help increase student engagement. If you’ve yet to understand the hype, I’ll explain. 

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New Course: Phonics Instruction


Teachers - ever heard of the Reading Wars?  In writing a new course on phonics instruction, I was enlightened by brushing up on the history of reading instruction. In my undergraduate and even graduate level education courses, I never studied the background of teaching beginning reading. But now I know, educators and researchers have wrestled with best practices for reading instruction, specifically framed in an ongoing “war” between the methods of “phonics” and “whole language.”  I reflect upon my own early reading development and recognize that I was “supported” with a mixture of instructional methods.  And for this I am grateful! 

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Topics: Literacy

Reaching At-Risk Students: The New Tools for Students with Challenging Behaviors


Half of teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and students with challenging behavior are one of the reasons why.

As educators, we don’t want another trend, or quick fix. We want to understand why our students are experiencing social-emotional-behavioral challenges, and what we can do to help them.  

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Topics: Special Populations

Parent-Teacher Communication Tip: How to Share Challenging Information [VIDEO]


Parent-teacher communication can be one of the most stressful things about being a teacher. Finding strategies to deliver tough information is key to developing and maintaining strong parent-teacher relationships while keeping the child at the center. Here are a few ideas that might be helpful to you!

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Video

Mental Health Warning Signs. Caring for the Mental Health of Your Students

Everyone has mental health.

Everyday, we are reminded that our physical health is essential to our well-being. But, it is important that we recognize how our mental health, and that of our students, affects our well-being, too! Did you know that one in five children between the ages of 13-18, have, or will have, a serious mental illness?1 As teachers, how can we determine if a student is struggling with a mental health issue? Check out our list of 10 mental health warning signs:

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Topics: Special Populations

Teachers and Technology: 5 EdTech Leaders You Should Follow


Are you desperately trying to stay on top of tech trends?  Do you need help sifting through new research and creating innovative learning experiences for your students?  If you’re like me you’ve probably thought about creating a PLN (personal learning network) or maybe you’ve even entered into the Twittersphere. Perhaps you’ve found a blogger or two to follow on Facebook.  But who are the ed tech thought leaders to follow and which Facebook pages drop great tech bites into your feed?   Have no fear!  We’ve curated a great list of 5 ed tech leaders to follow in 2018.  Get your PD on demand in the comfort of your home by adding this super group: 

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Topics: Technology

Student Engagement Through Camouflage Learning


I call it “Camouflage Learning”…..

Students are not to be underestimated.  They’re constantly aware of their surroundings and always “watching out” for the threat of being taught.  They’ve been trained, over the years, to be looking over their shoulders in the hopes of protecting themselves from objectives, standards, assessments, and data-driven approaches.  As a result, students are very perceptive and they know when you’re trying to teach them something….But if you’re careful, sometimes they’ll learn without realizing it! It’s deceptive, sneaky, under-handed, and yet, calculated.  It’s camouflage learning.

Sometimes I try to trick my students into learning.  Without their prior approval, I’ll deliver content via strategies used to camouflage content within the lesson…It can take place, usually, without them knowing and there are a great number of ways to accomplish this feat.  I’ll share a couple of student engagement aka camouflage learning strategies with you now.

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Prevent Teacher Burnout: 3 Simple Ideas to Avoid Over-committing

 Do you tend to over-commit?  

Do you have the “I’ll do it” Syndrome because you can’t imagine giving up control or believing that someone else can do it as well as you? 

Are you on more committees than you care to admit?  

If you said yes to any of these questions, you must keep reading. 

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Topics: Technology


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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