The Chalk Blog

How Do I Discuss Politics in the Classroom?

Engaging Students in a Respectful Manner

As we near the 2018 midterm elections, it’s hard not to feel that the United States is intensely divided on political topics across the spectrum, and unfortunately, those divisions can play out in our classrooms. So the question many teachers may be asking themselves is: do I allow a space for my students to discuss the elections, or politics in general, in class?

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

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

Achieving Success with English Language Learners

This blog was originally published on November 6th, 2015, but it was so well received we wanted to share it again! We also added our Top Three Tips when working with students who are ELL.

As teachers we are constantly trying to improve ourselves, our teaching strategies, and our ways of interacting with each unique student. Learning is difficult in itself, but a language barrier makes things more complex. Below are 3 tips from Learners Edge about how to work with ELL students, along with some additional suggestions from Jennifer Marks, a teacher from Northborough, MA , who took Course 842: Achieving Success with English Language Learners.

Tip 1: Learn the culture. 

On a recent trip overseas, I was delighted to sit down with a group of people who had emigrated from Africa to Norway. In talking about what leaving their country was like (they all spoke Arabic, Norwegian, and English)—they shared how helpful it was when teachers learned about their native culture. Understanding just some of the cultural norms helped the teacher, the students, and those who had emigrated transition to a new culture in a way that felt respectful and supportive. When teachers try their best to pronounce names or to honor cultural norms (i.e. food restrictions, social mores) it helps to alleviate micro-aggressions which can feel hurtful to those who are new. 

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, diversity, Special Populations

Exciting News from Learners Edge!

We are Moving!

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Topics: Learners Edge News

Practice Writing with Daily Pages [VIDEO]

Building Writing Confidence in Your Students

Are you struggling to get students to write with confidence? Maybe they need an extra boost! Check out these awesome tips from our Curriculum and Instruction team member, Barb. She'll convince you to try Daily Pages in less than 2 minutes...

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Topics: Video, Educator Coaching, Teaching Excellence

NEW Course Alert: 5057: Move, Grow, Play!

Using Play to Teach and Learn

When traveling, I find it captivating to learn how different cultures educate their children. While in Germany, I observed school kids carrying canvas bags with the phrase “spielend lernen” printed above a colorful picture. Because I don’t read German, I asked my friend to translate: 

“Play to learn.” 

Play to learn is the message author Lisa Murphy, in her book, Play: The Foundation of Children’s Learning, encourages us to embrace, recognize and understand, and it is the book you will receive when you register for our energizing new course 5057: Move, Grow, Play! Using Play to Teach and Learn. 

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Instructional Strategies, Teaching Advice

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

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

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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