The Chalk Blog

10 Reasons to Use Sentence Frames in Your Classroom

A Great Teaching Strategy!

A sentence frame is a teacher-created scaffold using a fill-in-the-blank format designed to help students ask or answer questions verbally or in writing. They are very effective for all students but especially for those who may require a bit more support. Take a look at our TOP TEN reasons you should be using these in your classroom. 

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Literacy

Solving the Puzzle of Reading

Overcoming reading challenges with students

“In every problem, there's a concealed solution…locking itself underneath…unlock, peruse, find and solve.” - Michael Bassey Johnson 


As a child, I was an avid reader. It came easily and I enjoyed it, often finding myself lost in stories when I should have been cleaning my room or playing outside. As a teen, I continued to read for fun and was also able to learn by reading. Even attacking the piles of reading necessary in college was not a struggle for me. I read fast and had discovered comprehension strategies that ensured I understood. Reading was a puzzle I had solved quite easily with little effort.

Then, I became a special education teacher, and I realized that job included teaching children to read. At first I thought, “This can’t be hard. Reading is simple.” I was wrong! The more experienced I became and the more I learned about the complex process of learning to read, the more I panicked. Not only is reading a cognitive challenge, but the students that I would be working with had disabilities making this challenge even more intense. My students faced struggles like dyslexia, low cognitive ability, language disorders, and visual processing deficits. It was at that point that I realized teaching a student to read is like solving a puzzle and assessment held many of the necessary clues.    

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Topics: Literacy, Courses

Must Read Books for Teachers in 2019

Stay up-to-date with the best books this year!

There are three things we know well at Learners Edge - books, learning, and choice. 

  1. Teachers LOVE books. I have a team full of former teachers who now write content for Learners Edge as part of the Curriculum and Instruction Team. And guess what…we still love books! From my desk, I can see about fifteen books on one team member’s desk alone and between the four of us writers, there are 64 books for an average of 16 each! That’s a lot of books! 
  2. Teachers LOVE learning…always have and always will! The Curriculum and Instruction Team loves writing courses on new topics because as we read the text, we learn. When we design the course and develop assignments to ensure you fully comprehend key concepts and can apply new ideas in your classroom, we learn even more. We love learning just like you! 
  3. Teachers want CHOICE. While this has been a more recent revelation for us, it’s clear: Personalized professional learning combined with choice on topics is more motivating, more engaging, and more fun for educators. It increases ownership and provides opportunities to grow in areas of need and/or interest identified by the learner! You! For that reason, we have five courses in our Personalized Continuing Education category. We are the only online continuing education company to offer these types of courses. Two of these courses allow you, the learner, to choose the book. iCourse is meant to be completed independently while Text Seminar is meant to be done in a group of two or more! Your learning, your topic, your way! 
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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Literacy

Top 10+ Tech Trends & Tools for Teachers in 2019

Get up-to-date Tech Tools for 2019

It’s 2019, and technology continues to reshape teaching trends in and out of the classroom. One of the most challenging obstacles for teachers is knowing what’s new, what’s coming, and how this technology can be used to infuse new tactics to engage, educate and learn. This year, the trends are about building the “Intelligent Digital Mesh” which encompasses:

  • Intelligence – AI drives everything we do across many systems going into the future;
  • Digital – The digital world brings the virtual and real worlds together in a new digital reality; and,
  • Mesh – Connecting people, processes, and things together in new and interesting ways.
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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Literacy

For the Love of Reading

3 Key Strategies for Motivating Students to Read

Reading was always my FAVORITE subject in school.  As a kid, I remember raising my hand with unbridled enthusiasm so that I might be chosen to read aloud to the class, “round robin” style.  Whether it was the basal reader, a class novel or worksheet passages, I was hooked.  I just loved to read. Anything. 

This love of reading inevitably lead me to choose teaching as a career, as I’m sure was the case for many educators.  As an elementary reading teacher (and parent of 3 kids), I’ve come to learn that this love of reading does not come naturally to all children.  It’s a challenge for those of us that eat, sleep and breathe books to understand that, for some, reading is a chore.  It is something that is required, or in some cases, something to be avoided at all costs!

Our classrooms are full of kids along the reading spectrum.  So how do we help nurture a love of reading in our students, especially those that are the most reluctant (or even averse!)?  Research tells us that intrinsic motivation is key and that sticker charts and pizza parties can actually decrease motivation.  Yikes!

We’ve put together a list of 3 key research-based strategies that will help build a community of readers and increase intrinsic motivation for even the most reluctant reader in your classroom.

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Literacy

Earn Credits for Reading With Friends!

Celebrating 10 Years of Book Study at Learners Edge!

"There is power in unity and there is power in numbers." 

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Collaboration is not new, but in our profession, engaging with one another is truly a gift, and a wonderful opportunity for discussion and action.  

The Book Study from Learners Edge is one of five personalized professional development opportunities available, and the only option to complete as a group. The syllabus is a framework for teachers to guide their own learning using a text of their choice, which has made this course perfect for 3,368 groups in the 10 years of its existence.  

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Topics: Literacy, Personalized Continuing Ed, Courses

World Read-Aloud Day

Get your class ready for February 1st!

What if there were a panacea for all that was broken in the world?

There’s one solution that could better our lives, advance our civilization, inspire innovation, and build bridges within our society. World Read-Aloud Day is a gigantic step in that direction.

We can overcome our divisions in a world that is more connected than ever by reading about one another, cultures, and philosophies unlike our own. The information is there. We just need to consume it! There are many layers to this, but truthfully, it can all start with reading.

Allow us to convince you!

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Holidays

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

Accommodations, Modifications, and Interventions [VIDEO]

Keeping Up With Educational Jargon

There is so much educational jargon to keep up with these days, and oftentimes it's hard to remember it all. In this video blog, Keely does an excellent job of explaining, and giving examples, on how to use the words 'accommodation,' 'modification,' and 'intervention.' Review these words and the appropriate uses for them here!

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Topics: Special Populations, Literacy, Video

Vocabulary Instruction [VIDEO]

Are you looking for ways to improve vocabulary instruction in your day to day lesson plans? Keely from our Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction team has some very helpful tips and tricks for you! 

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Video

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

 

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