The Chalk Blog

How to Get the Most Out of Professional Development Days

3 cheers for PD days - precious time to build your teaching toolkit!

At Learners Edge, my team is full of professional development super fans. Granted, it’s our job - but we do consider ourselves lucky to actually believe in what we practice and preach. We’re also tuned-in to teaching enough to know that professional development (PD) opportunities are usually viewed from one of two lenses: 

  1. Love it.
  2. Hate it. 

PD is a necessary opportunity to focus on your instructional practice and consider new ideas for implementation. With the goal of supporting students and yourself, every educator has a million outcomes to meet!  It’s daunting, to say the least, but PD can be the key. So instead of preaching to the choir - I say we lift up the naysayers and the PD pessimists, to see if we can encourage a slight shift in mindset for the next round of required learning. And in order to truly reach the intended audience, I’ll keep it short and sweet!  Here are some insights on how to make the most of your next PD Day!

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Topics: "personalized professional development", educator wellness, Teaching Excellence

Celebrate Digital Citizenship Week Oct. 15-19th

Top Tips to Engage Students, Staff, and Families

As teachers begin the school year, we often spend days, weeks even, building a supportive and positive classroom community.  We discuss, model and practice classroom expectations for everything from sharpening pencils to resolving peer conflicts.  We continue to nurture our community as the school year goes on, intent on developing the ideal school citizens.  But what about the online environment?  As a greater percentage of teaching and learning moves to online platforms, the necessity for intentional and ongoing digital citizenship education cannot be ignored or checked off a list at the beginning of the year.

One way to kickstart or amp up your digital citizenship game plan is to participate in Digital Citizenship Week (Oct. 15–19)!  Recognized on the third week of October each year, this initiative aims to build capacity for students and families to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world.

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Topics: Technology, Teaching with Technology

Accommodations, Modifications, and Interventions [VIDEO]

Keeping Up With Educational Jargon

There is so much educational jargon to keep up with these days, and oftentimes it's hard to remember it all. In this video blog, Keely does an excellent job of explaining, and giving examples, on how to use the words 'accommodation,' 'modification,' and 'intervention.' Review these words and the appropriate uses for them here!

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Topics: Video, Literacy, Special Populations

Building Self-Confidence in Your Students

Developing the Social-Emotional Skill of Self-Efficacy

A teenage hockey goalie defending a shutout in the final period of a state championship game. A small child learning to decode big words. A freshly graduated Criminal Justice major headed into her first job interview. What do these three individuals have in common?

They must have self-efficacy to be successful. Let me explain…

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning

Vocabulary Instruction [VIDEO]

Are you looking for ways to improve vocabulary instruction in your day to day lesson plans? Keely from our Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction team has some very helpful tips and tricks for you! 

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Topics: Video, Literacy, Instructional Strategies

Tch Tips: Four Ways to Communicate with Families

 Communication is Key!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Tchers' Voice Blog at our sister company, Teaching Channel.

Depending on when your school year started, you’ve probably made it through the initial sprint of setting up routines, establishing the foundation for your class culture, and everything in between. Now as you move into the fall, it’s time to evaluate and refine your communication with families.

  • How are you letting them know about your classroom’s activities?
  • How are they learning about the progress of their children?
  • How are you getting families involved?

Check out these four tips for communicating with your students’ families throughout the school year.

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, educator wellness, Parents

How to Make a Parent Phone Call

The parent phone call can often be a scary and intimidating situation for even the most experienced teacher. Below is a sample script designed to help make the most of the precious few minutes you have on the phone with parents, covering key concerns and communicating effectively.

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, educator wellness, Parents

Substitute Teachers aka Super Subs to the Rescue

Whom do we turn to when we’re called out of the classroom? When the flu attacks or someone in our family needs us near, whom do we call to cover our teaching responsibilities?  When we’re lucky enough to attend a professional training or workshop, how do we keep our daily instruction on pace?  We call a substitute teacher, a super-sub, of course!   

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Topics: Substitute Teachers, Teaching Excellence

Using Personalized Learning to Increase Intrinsic Motivation

Let me ask you a few questions…How motivated would you be to learn a new skill your supervisor demanded you learn? Would your motivation level be high or low if the skill you needed to learn was of no interest to you? What would you think if your supervisor could not provide a reason for you to learn the skill? Would you be motivated if you had to learn the skill the exact way your supervisor learns best?  

These situations occur daily in our schools! Teachers are told what to teach and how to teach it, and then students are told what to learn and how to learn it.  

What if I told you there is another way to teach and learn that can increase intrinsic motivation? 

You want to keep reading, don’t you?! I believe personalized learning increases intrinsic motivation, but by all means, you decide… 

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Topics: Personalized Continuing Ed, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Late Homework [VIDEO]

Are you experiencing difficulties with students turning assignments in late? Do you want to help them succeed by allowing late assignments, but feel overwhelmed when they all submit them at the end of a grading period? Well then we have the perfect video blog for you! Check out Dawn's helpful tips on keeping you AND your students on track with late homework.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Video, Teaching Advice

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!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation

 

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