The Chalk Blog

Barb Istas

Recent Posts

"Super Subs" — Substitute Teachers to the Rescue!

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Topics: Substitute Teachers, Courses, Partnerships

Technology for Teachers: Tips from a Tech Teacher

Originally published on January 19, 2018 and updated on April 22, 2022.

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, Social Media

The Connection Between Teaching and Gardening

Originally published on December 12, 2021 and updated on April 12, 2022.

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Topics: Teaching Advice, Teacher Appreciation, Spring Break

Practicing Deep Breathing for a Calm Classroom

Originally Posted by Barb Istas, a former member of our Curriculum and Instruction team and current Learners Edge course evaluator on February 21, 2018, and revised by Susanne Leslie on February 25, 2022.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, educator wellness, anxiety, mindfulness, Mental Health Awareness, Self-Care

Teachers and Books - Read ‘Em and Reap!

Great "curl-up-next-to-the-fireplace" book ideas

Hey, topnotch teachers! Whatcha reading on the sidelines these days? Reading for pleasure in my free time? What’s free time anyway? Is there such a thing -  and if so, why don’t I have some?  

Research tells us we must offer students choice for independent reading and teach them self-selection skills so they’re able to find and finish books they love and learn from. But, that’s a whole other course 5040: Increasing Comprehension with Close Reading in Your Classroom - or two 5009: Reading Instruction for the Head and Heart.

This blog post is really for you, teachers. Educators trying to practice what they preach will read books for both pleasure and learning. So, what are you reading right now?  Besides the read aloud or novel you are teaching or re-teaching, what are you reading for your own enjoyment or benefit? 

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Literacy

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: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Instructional Strategies, Video

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: Teaching Excellence, Video, Educator Coaching

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: Teaching Excellence, Personalized Professional Development, educator wellness

How to Make a Parent Phone Call

The parent phone call can often be a scary and intimidating situation for even the most experienced teacher. Below is a sample script designed to help make the most of the precious few minutes you have on the phone with parents, covering key concerns and communicating effectively.

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, educator wellness, Parents

Substitute Teachers aka Super Subs to the Rescue

Whom do we turn to when we’re called out of the classroom? When the flu attacks or someone in our family needs us near, whom do we call to cover our teaching responsibilities?  When we’re lucky enough to attend a professional training or workshop, how do we keep our daily instruction on pace?  We call a substitute teacher, a super-sub, of course!   

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Substitute Teachers

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 120 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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