The Chalk Blog

Spark Engagement and Enhance Learning with Arts Integration!

After the excitement of the holiday season, the first few months of the year can feel a little “meh,” back to the grind, same-old same-old. Our new course 5245: Educational Innovation with Art Integration can help! The course is all about an approach that reinvigorates teachers and energizes students! You’ll learn strategies any PreK-12th grade content area teacher can use to boost engagement and achievement using visual and media arts, music, theater, and dance/movement. With choices offered throughout, you’ll develop a plan to integrate the arts in a way that meets your students’ unique needs. Read on to learn more and download a sneak peek resource from the course!

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Arts, STEAM/STEM, Courses

Teaching for Equity in the Music Classroom [+ Free Downloadable Activity]

Music educators are uniquely positioned to orchestrate connections between student culture and the universal language of music. Quality professional learning is key to making this happen. In our new music-focused course, 5214: Teaching for Equity in the Music Classroom, you will explore strategies to expand students’ musical understanding beyond the Western classical perspective to honor a different approach: one that both affirms the music students are familiar with. 

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Topics: Arts, STEAM/STEM, Courses

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

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

6 Easy Ways to Use Google Arts and Culture for Immersive Learning

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Instructional Strategies, Arts, Technology, Student Engagement, Digital Resources, teacher resources

The Search for Truth & Accuracy in Our History

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Topics: Arts, Content Areas, Distance Learning

Time to Get Artsy

Help us fill our walls!

Calling all Artists and Visually Gifted folks: we need your help!

Learners Edge has always been a fun place to work, and never before has that been more represented than in our new space (we moved at the end of October 2018).

We have lots of natural light with colorful accents, complete with a ping pong table, Nerf guns, and currently, a Jenga set. We have couches and several other options of places to meet, work, collaborate, and laugh. We have snacks!- oh, the snacks!- that tide us over when we need a little food break. We have a white board that hosts trivia, fun facts about the staff, and nonsensical polls (Fun fact! We are overwhelmingly a chunky peanut butter group).

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Topics: Arts, STEAM/STEM, Content Areas

Youth Art Month

March is National Youth Art Month and it’s a perfect time to connect the joy and fun of art to your classroom learning.  Students of all ages (teachers, too!) crave opportunities to appreciate and create art in the classroom. And best of all, the research is in - art helps students learn!

Here are 10 ideas for quick art connections you can make in March!  Try just one and join the fun!

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Arts, STEAM/STEM

STEAM Education- How to Integrate the Arts


This week's blog post writer is Barb Istas. Barb is currently a Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. Prior to joining Learners Edge, Barb was a language arts teacher for 25 years in a large suburban Minnesota school district where she integrated the arts in her daily classroom instruction.

Arts-Integration - A Call to Action! 

Teachers, Learners Edge has a STEAM engine rolling into the station!  I am all fired-up about a new course we created called STEAM Education: Integrating the Arts into your Classroom, and so excited to share it with every teacher I know.  

First things first - you don’t have to be a STEM teacher to connect with STEAM because we can break the philosophy down to the basics and call it “Arts-Integration.” Pure and simple, this is a calling to all teachers: recognize the power of arts in teaching and learning, and tap into higher engagement that comes from creativity and collaboration. Even better - research on brain science and academic achievement supports this call to action! 

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Topics: Arts, STEAM/STEM

Infusing the Arts in the Classroom

How do I integrate arts in my classroom? This is a question many of you might find asking yourselves as monies are shifted away from arts programs and towards common core subjects. This reduction and de-emphasis of the arts in our schools have left our students without a fundamental building block of child development. In Learners Edge online continuing education course, In the Face of Poverty, author Eric Jensen's book, "Teaching with Poverty in Mind," encourages schools in high poverty areas to implement a strong arts program to support student growth and success. He states, "this fact cannot be emphasized enough: arts build the student brain's academic operating systems. Arts can and should be integrated into all subject areas."

See how veteran vocational education teacher, Mark Leahy used this idea to infuse arts and service learning in the classroom with this unique and inspirational lesson. Check out this motivating video he put together which illustrates the whole project!

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Topics: Arts

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!

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