The Chalk Blog

How to Approach Tough Conversations

Our Brains as Storytellers

Few situations give me the nervous sweats and worry than a difficult conversation. I don’t believe anyone seeks out conflict, but it can be nearly debilitating if there are too many unknowns and questions. Why did she react that way? What was the intent of that comment? Why does he keep acting like that around me? 

The Curriculum and Instruction team from Learners Edge attended a Dare to Lead training, which covered Dr. Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability, courage, and wholeheartedness. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Social Work, and is a licensed Social Worker. She’s a researcher and professor at the University of Texas-Houston, and the author of 5 New York Times bestsellers, including Daring GreatlyDare to Lead, and Rising Strong. Her TED Talk about vulnerability has been viewed by over 43 million people, and she recently released Daring Classrooms -a (free!) teacher hub that includes the applications for the principles in her books.


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Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

A Playlist to Get You Moving!

How I wrote the new course: Learning on the Move!

We miss Prince.

The musical genius and influence of Prince are part of Minneapolis, the city where I grew up, live, and where I found myself as I sat down to write a new course about kinesthetic learning called Learning on the Move! In need of inspiration, I turned to Prince, and other music, to get me moving, motivated and ready to write.

To honor both Prince and what the research says about the necessity of movement in learning, please listen, dance, and sing as you scroll through the playlist I listened to while writing Learning on the Move!, a course that assures us learning happens from the feet up!


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Topics: Courses, Student Engagement

Assessment Made Easy with Google Forms

Five Useful Resources on Google Forms

Here at Learners Edge we value your time as an educator. We've put together this quick and comprehensive slideshow on how to use Google Forms to simplify and speed up your classroom assessments.

Five Useful Resources on Google Forms:

1. Save time and go paperless

2. Add dynamic elements

3. Customize your quizzes

4. Don't reinvent the wheel

5. Use comments to support growth

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

NEW Happiness Course!

 

With a game of Happiness Bingo!

Learners Edge has a fantastic new course on happiness called Living Your Happiest Life, Inside & Outside the Classroom. It’s been very popular and fits nicely into our Educator Wellness category because when you are happy, you feel well!  

The popularity of this course made me think, “What really makes you happy, Keely?” Of course, the very typical things came to mind: my kids, my boyfriend, free time, extra money, vacations, polar bears and chocolate. But you know what else makes me happy? I mean really happy? Bingo! Nothing makes me happier than yelling BINGO when my number is called!  

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Topics: Mental Health Awareness, Happiness

10 Teaching Channel Videos to Help You Teach

 

Using Video to Learn

As a course creator for Learners Edge, I watch a lot of videos in search of media that compliments and enriches the content of our courses. One of the best educational video resources I have found is The Teaching Channel, a searchable site with curated content for educators featuring real teachers in real classrooms...teaching. 

Although there are hundreds of videos, the ten below rose to the top because they showcase straightforward, easy-to-implement strategies teachers can use in their classrooms (right away!)--and they are fun-to-watch. Please enjoy these 10 videos from The Teaching Channel!

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Beyond the Textbook

 

Multimedia Resources to Engage Your Brain

The resources that grab your brain are the ones I like the bestthe ones you listen to as you sit in your driveway well beyond home arrival at home. The ones that get into your psyche so much that you have to (HAVE TO) talk about them, and about the new information that has taken up residency in your being. 

Of course, these resources enrich our professional lives too. What if you could earn graduate credit for consuming media AND finding a way to apply your learning with your students?  

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

4 Steps Towards a More Inclusive Classroom

 

Creating a Diverse Curriculum

When I think back on all of my years of K-12 schooling, the only diversity included in the curriculum (if you can even call it that) were the ubiquitous studies of westward expansion, slavery, civil rights and a few prominent figures that emerged from those time periods. What I took away, as a young person of color, was that the influence and contributions of people like me were relegated to the margins of history. An additive to the mainstream narrative.   

As classrooms in the U.S. continue growing in diversity, teachers are tasked with creating a more inclusive curriculum to reflect the voices and perspectives of a broader spectrum of people. By teaching the established curriculum, minority students often feel disengaged and unempowered resulting in lower levels of achievement.  But when educators work to create a set of curricula that is relevant, meaningful, and affirming to diverse identities, their efforts result in positive outcomes both socially and academically. Research also shows that not only students of color, but white students greatly benefit from a diverse curriculum as the exposure enables them to grapple with multiple perspectives and build a better understanding of both self and others. 

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Topics: Positive Behavior Supports, diversity

8 Book Recommendations on Student Behavior

Helping You Put Behavior Puzzle Pieces Together!

Student behavior is a puzzle. Many pieces are necessary to make up the complete, TRUE picture. Does the child have positive connections with staff and other studentsDoes the child need routineCould the child benefit from resilience building? What is developmentally normal? Has the child experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences or traumaWhat is the function of behavior? Does she have a skill deficit? What is his learning style? Is she receiving proper nutrition? Did the child get a good night’s sleep? So many pieces… 

Because behavior is extremely complicated, it is often a daily challenge for educators. For this reason, Learners Edge has put together a list of the best behavior books for teachersThink about what is missing for you to solve the behavior puzzle in your classroom. Then, check out our recommendation based on your needs.  

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Topics: Positive Behavior Supports, Books

Tips for Using Podcasts in Your Classroom

How to engage students in educational podcastsIn Minnesota’s Land of 10,000 Lakes, we enjoy the time-honored tradition of leaving the sweltering summer heat behind and heading north to a cabin, a campground, or any where we can find water to swim, frolic, and cool off.

Last weekend, my 24 year old daughter and I packed up the car and took off in search of one of those 10,000 cool, blue lakes. As we traveled, we scrolled through staticky radio stations looking for something we could both enjoy. That’s when we exclaimed, “podcasts!”

Podcasts are stories or educational information to be listened to, much like a radio show. What makes podcasts unique and modern are their convenience, availability, and the breadth of topics.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Student Engagement

4 Secrets to Successful Parent/Teacher Conferences

Working with parents made simple!

As parent-teacher conferences loom, educators start to get nervous. We work hard to get all of our ducks in a row-- the test score data, the report cards, and the examples of student work.  There’s an enormous amount of anxiety and stress thinking about how to accurately convey details about each student’s successes and struggles. Will parents push back on my assessment of their child? How in the world will I squeeze in all I want to say in a few short minutes? Will the parents even show up? 

Since becoming a parent I’ve been able to sit on the other side of the table and see things from a different perspective. I’ve reflected on the purpose of the parent-teacher conference and come to the realization that less is more!  Less data, fewer numbers and more stories, more connection. 

Reframe your thinking, save time and make each meeting work for everyone with our 4 secrets to successful parent-teacher conferences! 

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Topics: educator wellness, Parents

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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