The Chalk Blog

Grasp and Grip [VIDEO]

Simple ways to increase classroom play

Skills that should be "simple" have slowly become lost in the shuffle of technology. As teachers, it's important to incorporate activities in your classroom that allow students to work on their grasp and grip. Susie, one of our Curriculum & Instruction team members, is here to give you some quick ideas!

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

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

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

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

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

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

ThinkCERCA: Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking

This blog posts comes from our friends at ThinkCERCA. We encourage you to explore all of their great offerings.

Writing is the Path to Critical Thinking

This blog posts comes from our friends at ThinkCERCA. We encourage you to explore all of their great offerings.

Educators know students need critical thinking skills. But when it comes to assessing and teaching critical thinking, it’s tough to know where to start. “Critical thinking” is a concept. By design, it’s amorphous. You can’t glean critical thinking from a series of multiple choice responses.

You see evidence of critical thinking, however, when students write arguments. 

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Excellence

Tackling Tough Topics in Your Classroom

Why it's important for you, and your students...

Turn on the television, listen to the radio, pick up a newspaper or log on to your favorite social media website. You, and students, will see opposing views and lively debates, some articulated respectfully and others...not so much. In a society fraught with disagreement, it is important that we teach our students about tough topics and how to engage in civic discourse. This may take place through planned activities or it may be more spontaneous, but if you are prepared, you will have great opportunities to teach skills that could last a lifetime.  

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Social Emotional Learning

The Best Teachers I Ever Had

Teaching from the Heart

This blog post comes to us from our sister company, iteachiteach is the leading educator preparation partner, offering rigorous, research-based online training with the support of face-to-face mentorship. It was originally published on their blog on March 13, 2018.

For me, school didn’t come easy. I started as a four year old in first grade. My parents were going through a divorce and my mom told the school I was five years old and started me early. I was big for four, as big or bigger than most five year olds, but obviously a year of growing makes a big difference. I was too young to remember most of that year, but what I do remember is my first grade teacher requiring me to stay in during recess and practice my ABC’s. This was tough. I wanted to be outside, what little four year old boy wants to be practicing penmanship? But it was good for me and I quickly caught up to the rest of the class.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

Engaging Families and Communities in Students' Education

Student success is a shared interest of both school and family.” 

Research informs us that students whose parents [and communities] are involved in their education are more likely to: 

  • Adapt well to school 
  • Attend school regularly 
  • Complete homework 
  • Earn better grades 
  • Have better test scores 
  • Graduate and go to college 
  • Have good social skills 
  • Demonstrate positive behaviors 
  • Have better relationships with their parents 
  • Have higher self-esteem 

*Bonus: parents who are involved in their children’s education at a young age are more likely to stay involved with their children’s education as they grow 

(*Adapted from “The Importance of Community Involvement in Schools” by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved 8/2/18. www.edutopia.org ) 

So, how can teachers engage and involve families and communities in students’ education?

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

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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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