The Chalk Blog

Keely Swartzer

Keely Swartzer is the Director of Professional Development for Learners Edge in Lakeville, Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from St. Cloud State University, a Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University and additional Director of Special Education and Principal Licensures from the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, Keely served students with special needs and subsequently served as a Special Education Coordinator in a suburban Minnesota school district. She teaches as an adjunct instructor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and has been developing trainings and providing face to face and online professional development for seven years. Professional development is Keely’s passion.

Recent Posts

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

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

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

Halloween Trivia for the Staff Lounge

Q: What is Samhainophobia?

Halloween comes with its own challenges and can cause educators STRESS! Harvest party planning. No time to bake your favorite pumpkin bars. Do we celebrate Halloween or don’t we? Organizing parent volunteers. Taking your own children Trick or Treating. Extremely hyper students one day, overly tired students the next. UGH!

But never fear, Learners Edge is here! We’ve developed this fun trivia game just for you.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Holidays

Video Reflection [VIDEO]

What is micro-teaching?

When it comes to reflecting on a video recording of yourself, you are your own worst critic. While this is a challenging technique, it can truly help you improve your instruction in the classroom. Watch this video blog by Keely to learn the best ways to implement micro-teaching in your practice.

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Topics: Video, Educator Coaching, Teaching Excellence

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

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

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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