The Chalk Blog

Susanne Leslie

Susanne Leslie, is the Lead Curriculum & Staff Specialist with Learners Edge. Prior to joining the Edge, Susanne worked as a parent educator in Minnesota's Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program and worked with parents of 0-5 year olds. Susanne is the proud parent of two daughters.

Recent Posts

Using Music to Teach

An Interview With Our Co-Founder

JOY is the emotion I feel when talking with Learners Edge co-founder, Kyle Pederson.

As a former middle school geography teacher, Kyle explains how he used music to engage his students, to help his students express themselves, and to ensure they remembered important facts. Now as a composer, Kyle shares his favorite musical artists and reminds us that music helps us to think better, remember better, and love better.

As you read Kyle’s perspective on using music to teach, we hope JOY is one of the emotions you feel, too!


Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

Learning and Teaching About Disability

Funny. Smart. Strong.

This is Lydia Dawley.

Even though Lydia doesn't speak a word, she told her amazing story to a packed audience of students, faculty, and guests at Winona State University’sDisability is Natural Cultural Fair. Organized by students enrolled in an ever-popular course called Disability Communication and Culture, the Fair is designed to provide publicity about the culture of disability. Surrounded by easels showcasing colorful artwork created by those in the community with a spectrum of disabilities, we watched as Lydia navigated the wooden ramp in her hot pink wheelchair and took center stage. 

For those unfamiliar with disability, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. The anxiety in the room was palpable until Dr. Kelly Herold, the teacher who welcomed us to the event, said something that made us laugh. We watched as Lydia threw her head back chuckling--clearly finding Herold’s comments funny, and just like that, the tension disappeared. The brief history the professor provided about the great distance the disability community has traveled; from institutionalization, to genocide, to the Gang of 19, to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to the mainstreaming of students engaged us, equipped us with context, and got us ready to listen and learn.


Read More

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!


Read More

Topics: Courses, Student Engagement

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Teaching with Technology, Student Engagement

Blended Learning Courses

Umbrellas, Auto-Pilot, and Top Takeaways from Blended Learning Courses

On Tuesday evenings in June, course instructor Lance Raabe and I facilitated two Blended Learning courses, one on mindfulness and one on teacher wellness. Using Zoom as our platform, we virtually connected with teachers from Florida to France (yes, a teacher who logged in from France!). C’est la vie!  

Because these Blended Learning courses were so engaging (for teachers and for us!) we wanted tshare our Top Takeaways 

Read More

Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology

10 Ways to Pay it Forward

Ideas for Students & Teachers

On May 20th, Robert Smith, a billionaire philanthropist, shocked the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse College by pledging to pay off all of the graduating students’ school loans. His only requirement? Pay it forward.

Read More

Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

8 Ways to Support Students Who Have Anxiety

SOS: Saving Our Students: Anxiety Series Part 3 of 3

“We’re in a moment where anxiety is running rampant,
spreading like an epidemic among adolescents.
The rise of anxiety is burdening schools and counselors,
scaring parents, and harming kids, creating dangerous pathways
to depression and substance abuse.”

~ Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jen saved me.

Ten years ago, as I made a break from a perilous marriage, anxiety became my constant companion. Navigating a labyrinth of self-doubt and confusion, my new life was now filled with seemingly endless consequential decisions about finances, career, and life. It felt as though I was spinning through the air and needed grounding. Jen, the instructor for a class called The Mixx, a perfect, a-hem, mix, of jumping, punching, and choreography became my tether. My time spent straining, sweating and listening to Jen’s words of encouragement improved my physical and mental health and kept my anxiety at bay. Turns out, what’s good for your body, is also good for your mind.

Saving our students.

Our students are suffering from anxiety at the highest rates ever recorded. (CDC, 2018).

Whether it’s separation anxiety, social anxiety, selective mutism, generalized anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, or situational anxiety, our students need our support.

Read More

Topics: anxiety, Mental Health Awareness

Travel YES’s and Travel (oh)-NO’s!

Pack Your Bags for Your Summer Adventure!

Most teachers agree, summer is the time to refresh, recharge, and reconnect after the school year (finally) comes to a close. For many teachers, summer is also a time for travel! If you are traveling this summer, (lucky you!) below is a list of tips you may want to try and a list of things you will definitely want to avoid when traveling this summer.

Bon voyage!

Read More

Topics: Personalized Continuing Ed, Summer Vacation

3 Cool Tech Teaching Tools

Tech Tools to Step Up Your Teaching Game!

As one of the more “mature” members of the Learners Edge family, I feel victorious when I learn a new tech tool! Below are three tools we hope you will find fun, fanciful, and useful in your work educating tomorrow’s leaders!

Read More

Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, educator wellness

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!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation

 

Recommended Posts