The Chalk Blog

5 Reasons Why I'm Grateful for my Masters Degree

A Thank You Letter to My Master of Arts in Education

Dear My Very Own Master of Arts in Education (MAEd),

I am writing to thank you for your impact on my career and personal life. When I decided to sign up for you, I was a second-year teacher with a newborn baby. I was overwhelmed and trying to quickly learn my two new roles in life (special educator and mom). It was crazy town! At that time, the VERY LAST thing I was thinking about was continuing my education. MAEd, I had no idea I needed you, but I did! Because I am thankful for you, I would like to share how you’ve changed my life!

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Masters Degree

Learners Edge Launches New Continuing Education Course: Growing Gifts

Course 5066: Growing Gifts: Stories, Supports and Strategies in Gifted Education 

Everyone likes a good story. 

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers by Judith Galbraith and Jim Delisle, is filled with stories to help the reader understand how it feels to be identified and labeled “gifted.” 

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Special Populations

Teaching Replacement Behaviors

Saving time and energy with proactive teaching strategies!

“We can’t hold kids accountable for things we’ve never told them we expect. Behavior should be treated like academics. Students have to be taught the skills they need.” Erin Green, Director of National Services Operations at Boys Town, had this right!

As a former teacher of students with emotional and/or behavioral challenges, I found myself spending much of my time creating functional behavior assessments and behavior support plans, writing individualized education plans, collecting data, developing reinforcement programs and intervening in behavioral crisis. Far less of my time was spent actually teaching! And rarely did I proactively teach replacement behaviors. Can anyone relate?

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Special Populations

From Goal Setting to Goal Getting!

Usain Bolt said, “It is important to set goals in life. I set mine to the highest standard I can achieve.”

Muhammad Ali said, “What keeps me going is goals.”

Venus Williams said, “I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and ignore the rest.”

Any fitness trainer, physical education teacher, or coach will tell you that goal setting is key to improving athletic or sport performance. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) shares that goal setting is a component of self-management which is an essential skill for children to learn! The majority of educators understand that goal setting is imperative to academic growth and achievement.

There is only one problem, goal setting is just the beginning. 

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning

How to be "Folks"

Everybody Needs Somebody.

“Jolly came home bleeding and she doesn’t have folks.
‘Nobody doesn’t have folks,’ I said.
‘I’m Nobody, then,’ she said, ’‘Cause I don’t.’ Her whole face was scraped like it had a grater taken to it, like it was cheese.”

-Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

In Make Lemonade, 14-year-old LaVaughn takes a job as a babysitter for 17-year-old Jolly, who has lived in foster care her whole life, and has two children from fathers who are not in the picture. As the story goes on, it’s clear that Jolly doesn’t really know how to do life – manage money, raise healthy children, even hold a job – because she has never really had what she calls “folks”: people who took a vested interest in showing her how to do things. LaVaughn helps Jolly to navigate through some of her issues and shows her resources to help her get on her feet, and to find resources for her to learn more about how to access a good life for her children and herself.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Social Emotional Learning

Getting Students to Write [VIDEO]

Fun prompts to get your class engaged!

Creating writing prompts is easy. Creating FUN writing prompts to boost student engagement... now that's a tricky one! Dawn from our Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction team is here to give you some fresh ideas on how to get your students to write. 

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

Organizing Class Book Sets [VIDEO]

How to keep class book sets intact

Teaching every student how to keep their paperback books intact throughout the year can be a very difficult task. Keely from Learners Edge is here with three simple suggestions that you can implement in your class!

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Topics: Video, Educator Coaching, Teaching Excellence

Teachers and Books - Read ‘Em and Reap!

Great "curl-up-next-to-the-fireplace" book ideas

Hey, topnotch teachers! Whatcha reading on the sidelines these days? Reading for pleasure in my free time? What’s free time anyway? Is there such a thing -  and if so, why don’t I have some?  

Research tells us we must offer students choice for independent reading and teach them self-selection skills so they’re able to find and finish books they love and learn from. But, that’s a whole other course 5040: Increasing Comprehension with Close Reading in Your Classroom - or two 5009: Reading Instruction for the Head and Heart.

This blog post is really for you, teachers. Educators trying to practice what they preach will read books for both pleasure and learning. So, what are you reading right now?  Besides the read aloud or novel you are teaching or re-teaching, what are you reading for your own enjoyment or benefit? 

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Topics: Literacy, Teaching Excellence

Teacher Stress: 11 Ways to “Shake It Off” from the Learners Edge Team

Avoiding DEVOLSON

We understand this time of year is stressful. The luster of the new school year may now be “lovingly” tarnished, and it is often the time of year that our work as teachers gets real. Students that were a little behind at the start of the year might suddenly feel panicked. The small stack of grading you’ve been trying to manage looks more like a leaning tower. Even Mother Nature seems to be toying with you: Oh look, it’s snowing! Wait, was it too soon to pack away those shorts? Can I wear a raincoat over a parka? And just when you start to get your teacher groove back for the year, daylight savings time ends and the world turns off the lights before you even leave school for the day. Yes, it can be a tough time of the year.

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Topics: educator wellness, Teacher Burnout

Refresh with Walk & Talks [VIDEO]

Sparking Student Engagement

A lull in learning is never fun - refresh your students with this movement activity! Even though November can be a bit chilly in some states, especially Minnesota where Learners Edge is located, you can still find ways to incorporate the walk and talk. Perhaps taking a walk through the halls of your school or a lap around the gym will be just enough movement to spark student engagement! 

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Topics: Video, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Instructional Strategies

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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