The Chalk Blog

Sarah Murphy

Recent Posts

Spark Student Creativity with Handmade Gifts

Handmade gifts are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season! A sweet or savory treat baked in the kitchen, a gift that is handcrafted by sewing, knitting, woodworking, jewelry making, or any form of artwork–they are all special and unique. Handmade gifts demonstrate that the recipient is worthy of your most precious resource–time! When I’m using my hands to create, I often reflect on the recipient and all they mean to me. The holiday season can be hectic and overwhelming, and gifts that are made by hand are an opportunity to slow down, create with intention, and savor the opportunity to show loved ones you care.

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Topics: Arts, Holidays, Just For Fun

Refresh Your Classroom Reading List with 2022 Book Award Winners!

I love a good “best of” list. Each fall, I scour all the rankings and recommendations that start appearing this time of year. While I enjoy lists of top movies and songs, my favorite is adding new books to my “to-read” stack–especially, books to share with young people! Whether you’re looking for read-alouds for young students, exciting choices to engage middle-grade readers, or YA options for teens, there’s something to spark everyone’s interest. You may even find a few ideas to add to your classroom library or your own to-read pile! So, jump on board for a round-up of award-winning children’s literature published in the past year. 

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Topics: Literacy, Books, reading

Halloween Candy & Courses: Sweet Pairings to Enhance Your Learning Experience

Cabernet and steak, coffee and donuts, milk and chocolate chip cookies…the right beverage and food pairing enhances the experience by bringing out the best of both flavors. But have you ever thought about complementary pairings for your Learners Edge courses? We’re here for it!

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Topics: Holidays, Courses

Get Creative With Our New Course for Art Teachers!

Picture this scene–you’re at a neighborhood BBQ, and someone says, “Oh, you’re an art teacher! What form of art do YOU practice?” Your mind goes blank, because you can’t remember the last time you picked up a paintbrush, clay, or textiles to make something for yourself. You respond, “Uhhh, I practice Kindergarten through 5th…” Does this sound familiar? Then our new course, 5225: Creativity Reboot for the Art Teacher’s Classroom, is just what you need!

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Topics: Arts, Courses

Choice, Fun, and Games Abound in Our Newest Tech Course

Quiz: Who is our new Choose Your Own EdTech Adventure course designed for?

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, 21st Century Learning, Courses

Rev Up Classroom Learning with a Summer Road Trip

There’s nothing quite like a road trip. The highway stretched out before you, the wind in your hair, music (or a great audiobook) blasting on the car stereo, adventures awaiting around every twist and turn. In addition to being a lot of fun, road trips can also be an incredible learning experience. From visiting historic and cultural sites, to museums, to exploring the varied natural landscape of the country, opportunities abound to bring learning back to your classroom this fall. Below, we’ve collected 10 destination ideas with websites that provide robust supporting activities that translate easily into authentic lessons. There’s something for travelers who teach in every content area.

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Topics: Courses, Summer Vacation, Happiness

Dive into Summer Learning with Our Upskilling Ideas

Ahh, summer! It’s perfect for the pool, barbecues, and upskilling! What’s upskilling, you may ask? It’s building knowledge and skills to take your practice to the next level. During the school year, teachers are often too busy to try that cool new tech tool, learn about the latest research in a content area, or revamp planning, assessment, or classroom management processes. You likely have a few skills in mind that you’ve been meaning to develop. Why not squeeze in some learning over the summer so you can start the school year energized and ready to dive in?! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Summer Vacation

We Care for Nurses, Too! [A New Course For School Nurses]

Managing medication for students with chronic health conditions, planning pandemic responses, supporting the everyday and crisis mental health of students, working as a trusted advocate and reliable resource for students, teachers, and families…these are just a glimpse of the many ways nurses make a difference in schools. Their work extends far beyond treating skinned knees and tummy aches, to ensuring that all students, including those with complex health needs, have access to a safe and equitable school experience.

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Topics: Courses, Mental Health Awareness

Beyond Extra Recess—Educational Activities for "Al Fresco" Learning

As the school year draws to a close and the weather warms up, special assemblies, performances for families, and other fun activities lead to changes in classroom schedules and routines. When you return to a stuffy classroom after an exciting event, it can be difficult to engage students in a sit-down lesson. Kids look longingly towards the playground, but you still have important content to teach before they move on to the next grade. That’s when outdoor learning activities can save the day! Read on for 10 easy ways to bring the learning outside for any grade level or content area.

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Student Engagement, teacher resources, Games & Downloadables

Lessons About Teacher Appreciation from Abbott Elementary

The hit new network TV show Abbott Elementary almost feels like a love note to educators. The mockumentary-style comedy, set in an underfunded fictional school in West Philadelphia, follows a group of dedicated teachers and a hilarious, self-absorbed principal. Creator, writer, and star Quinta Brunson’s mother was a teacher in Philadelphia, and teachers are on the show’s writing staff. This authentic perspective shines through in each episode, evoking the challenges and joys of the profession in a way that many teachers will find relatable. 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Appreciation

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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!

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