The Chalk Blog

Instagram for Teachers

Instagram is the New Pinterest for Teachers


While Pinterest is still a great place to gather ideas for your classroom, Instagram is moving up in the ranks as a new teacher favorite. Just like Pinterest, teachers can take inspiration from real classroom teachers, gather resources and stay on top of what’s new.  Get ready for some educational eye candy, because we’ve rounded up our favorite teacher Instagram pages into one stellar list for you. Prepare to be inspired!

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Topics: Technology, 21st Century Learning

Solving the Puzzle of Reading

Overcoming reading challenges with students

“In every problem, there's a concealed solution…locking itself underneath…unlock, peruse, find and solve.” - Michael Bassey Johnson 


As a child, I was an avid reader. It came easily and I enjoyed it, often finding myself lost in stories when I should have been cleaning my room or playing outside. As a teen, I continued to read for fun and was also able to learn by reading. Even attacking the piles of reading necessary in college was not a struggle for me. I read fast and had discovered comprehension strategies that ensured I understood. Reading was a puzzle I had solved quite easily with little effort.

Then, I became a special education teacher, and I realized that job included teaching children to read. At first I thought, “This can’t be hard. Reading is simple.” I was wrong! The more experienced I became and the more I learned about the complex process of learning to read, the more I panicked. Not only is reading a cognitive challenge, but the students that I would be working with had disabilities making this challenge even more intense. My students faced struggles like dyslexia, low cognitive ability, language disorders, and visual processing deficits. It was at that point that I realized teaching a student to read is like solving a puzzle and assessment held many of the necessary clues.    

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Topics: Literacy, Courses

10 Ways to Build Relationships With Students Who Challenge You

Building a rewarding relationship

Ever think that students behave better for teachers they like? Rita Pierson agrees! 

Ever heard of the relationship bank account? The concept is simple, to take something out of said account, you need a balance from which you can withdraw “funds” when you correct behavior! There is only one way to get that…positive deposits! 

Ever heard of the praise ratio? Experts disagree as to whether it’s 4:1, 5:1, or 6:1, but either way, you should be praising (building the relationship bank account) at least five times as often as you make a withdrawal.   

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Positive Behavior Supports, Teacher Burnout

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: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Excellence, Video

7 Steps for Keeping Students Engaged After Spring Break

Passion Projects

Spring Break has come and gone and you’ve (barely) survived the testing season. Summer vacation is near, but the countdown is still in the double digits.  Your students are restless and so are you. What do you do?! How about introducing an activity that sparks joy and intrinsic motivation in your students. One that allows them the freedom to explore areas of personal passion and encourages creative thinking. Something that combines fun and learning.  How about Passion Projects?! 

The Passion Project movement has morphed over decades from a workplace approach to cultivating innovation among employees at 3M to something called 20% time or Genius Hour at Google.  It’s now a popular practice for schools to infuse personalized learning and creativity into their curriculum. Students spend at least one hour each week researching an area of personal interest and designing an engaging multimedia product to be shared with others.   

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Personalized Continuing Ed

Improving Your Teaching Strategies

Why Instructional Coaching is Important

Sometimes it takes a while to hit our stride in teaching, and feedback is usually pretty helpfulBut scoot past student teaching and the survival mode into the instructional aspects… that’s when we need help yet again. As a student teacher, we’re watched, evaluated, supported, and given specifics for improvement. Then comes that first outing alone in our own classroom, where management of said space and its inhabitants can feel like an episode of Survivor. But with or without years of experience, diving into the intricacies of instructional practice is always better done with the help of an objective eye, as we once had as student teachers. 

Enter Instructional Coaching - the colleagues who have the perspective, knowledge, and experience to challenge us to move towards meeting our goals and realizing our potential 

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Educator Coaching

The Perfect Pair

Blended Learning: The Best of Both Worlds

Bert & Ernie.

Peanut butter & jelly.

Coffee & cream.

What do these perfect pairings have in common?

  1. They work well together.
  2. They complement one another.

Just like these well-known perfect pairings, we have our own “perfect pairings” at Learners Edge that come in the form of our Blended Learning courses, which are taken without leaving the comfort of your home, kitchen, or coffee shop.  

Intrigued?

Here’s how they work!

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Topics: educator wellness, mindfulness, Blended Learning

Collaborative Learning [VIDEO]

Improving Collaboration in Your Classroom

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Topics: Classroom Management, Teaching with Technology, Video

4 Tips for Effective Digital Collaboration in the Classroom

Working together in the classroom

LinkedIn recently reported that two of the top four skills actively sought out by employers were communication and collaboration (with leadership and time management rounding out the list). Educators take note! Much of our time is spent getting kids to memorize their multiplication facts or to understand the difference between a simile and a metaphor while important life skills end up on the backburner. How can we deliver academic content, while also preparing students with the technology and interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the workplace? We’ve put together a list of our top four tips for understanding, facilitating and assessing successful collaboration in the digital classroom.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

Avoiding Teacher Burnout [VIDEO]

What is Teacher Burnout? "Psychology Today describes burnout as "a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment." Teachers are usually high achievers who like to work hard and are always looking for ways to improve. These traits are commendable but can mean that educators fall prey to perfectionism and don't leave enough time for rest and recuperation." (Source: www.wgu.edu/)

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Topics: Video, educator wellness, Teacher Burnout

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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