The Chalk Blog

A Strategy for Learning Recovery

“Tutoring” can inspire a variety of definitions: “homework help,” private at-home tutoring, or a 6th grader helping a 2nd grader with math. With the issue of unfinished learning from the pandemic, tutoring becomes a newly refined learning experience with a high level of importance. 

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Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies, 21st Century Learning, COVID-19

Banned Books Week: September 27th - October 2nd, 2021

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Back-to-School, COVID-19, Digital Resources, Lesson Plan, reading

5 Meaningful Starts and Stops to Bookend Your Favorite (Unfinished Learning) Lessons

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Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies, Social Emotional Learning, Student Engagement, Back-to-School, COVID-19, Lesson Plan

How to Create a Digital Worksheet

It’s an age-old question, “How do I recreate a worksheet in digital format?” and it’s echoed by so many teachers across the country. To convert traditional paper and pencil tasks to a digital-friendly format is one of the biggest hurdles for educators moving curriculum online. Some have downloaded apps to convert documents, others have resorted to retyping entire sheets of paper. My favorite method for creating digital worksheets is really just a simple modification of a tool you and your students are already familiar with-- Google Slides. In the video tutorial below, I'll walk you through a quick process for creating digital worksheets that your students can type answers into without deleting or changing the questions. For more helpful resources visit our Teacher Resources page.

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Topics: Video, COVID-19, Distance Learning

2 Tools for Recording Video Lessons

Creating videos used to be quite a chore (remember the days of bulky recording equipment, editing, uploading, etc) and it required a special skill set. Thankfully, advances in technology have made video recording accessible to all with just a few clicks. As more and more instruction moves online, educators are looking to screencasting as an easy option for creating videos for and with students. There are many tools to choose from, but in the video that follows, I’ll introduce two of my favorites-- Screencastify and Loom. They are free, great for beginners, and will help you level up your distance learning game. And BONUS: both platforms now offer free upgrades to their Pro versions for educators (use the code CAST_COVID during checkout on Screencastify and for Loom just create an account with your school email address for the upgrade). This short video will give you an overview of each platform, steps for getting started on your first recording, and some ideas for using screencasting in your classroom. Let’s dig in!

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Topics: Video, COVID-19, Distance Learning

COVID Creativity

Your calendar has been cleared for the foreseeable future. You can’t come within 6 ft of any human. It has taken every bit of effort you have to get out of your jammies today. Your state has cancelled summer as you know it. I joked with my Learners Edge colleagues, who are also parents, that we would need to watch Little House on the Prairie reruns to find ways for our kids to have fun in the face of no organized group activities. You find yourself staring at your children as they utter the unconscionable words…”we’re bored.” (sigh)

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Topics: Student Brain Development, COVID-19

Essential Tips for Teaching with Zoom

A free video conferencing platform is one of those *must have* tech tools for your online teaching toolbox! It makes teaching whole classes, small groups and individuals less of a chore, and once you get the hang of it you can reap the rewards of a better connected, equally supported classroom of learners! Watch the video below so we can walk you through our tips!

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Topics: Technology, COVID-19, Distance Learning

Writing Great Poems Anytime, Anywhere

April is National Poetry Month, so I wrote you a limerick! 

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Topics: Literacy, COVID-19, Distance Learning

8 Tips for Video Chats in the New Normal

Our children have been looking pretty zombie-ish over the last few weeks, so my husband and I set up a video chat with a friend for each of them and stepped back to watch. Our kids’ mood quickly became animated as they ran around laughing and giggling with their friends. They shared what they were eating, their destroyed rooms, and made unseemly noises at one another trying to make each other laugh with – let’s call it “juvenile humor.” They had a blast. 

Video conferencing is not a mystery to organizations who have been interacting in this way for years, and it’s second nature for students and teachers in a virtual school setting. However, many of our students are learning for the first time how to interact with one another over video, sprouting a need for some guidelines and etiquette for this new-to-many platform. We can help!

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Topics: Technology, COVID-19, Distance Learning

8 Ways to Share Joy in a Socially Distant Community

There’s enough information about COVID-19 to overwhelm even the strongest of usWhat there’s NOT enough of is the sharing of inspirational ways others are staying connected in this time of social distancing. 

So, while Learners Edge is also trying to provide educational resources to help you as you are working online with students, we also want to lift your spirits. A deliberate search for smiles and laughter in the time of COVID-19 turned up a few gems.

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Topics: Happiness, COVID-19

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