The Chalk Blog

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: Literacy, Instructional Strategies

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: Literacy, Instructional Strategies

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: Courses, Personalized Continuing Ed, Literacy

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: Literacy, Holidays, Instructional Strategies

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: Literacy, Teaching Excellence

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: Video, Literacy, Special Populations

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: Video, Literacy, Instructional Strategies

Literacy Enrichment - National Poetry Month Ideas

Welcome, awe-inspiring April!  You are my favorite month and here’s why: 

  1. Despite severe winter fatigue this year, we keep the faith that spring will appear!
  2. Your showers bring May flowers.  
  3.  You are National Poetry Month.

You don’t have to be a poetry super-fan like me or teach language arts to engage poetry in your classroom instruction. Poetry has the power to connect all of us - students and teachers alike - quickly and deeply. In celebration of April, surviving winter to welcoming spring, please allow me to offer some of National Poetry Month’s highlights from former 6th graders and me. 

How to enjoy National Poetry Month: 

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Topics: Literacy

Spring Break Reading List & Tips

The feeling of relief that comes with spring break is high on the list of teacher “perks,” don’t you agree? Surviving winter with report cards and parent-conferences requires professional superpowers. And looming standardized testing dates strain most teachers with anxiety and apprehension. If it weren’t for a precious little spring break slotted right in between these two teacher stress-points, we might all just go hide in a cave and hibernate. But never fear, spring break is near!   

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Topics: Literacy

Reading Fluency - Taking Time to Practice

 

Reading is a complex skill - this truth is visible and audible. Consider the critical path from phonemic awareness to phonics & word study to decoding to fluency to vocabulary - all the way to comprehension, everyone’s desired destination. Now consider the roadblocks that cause readers to stall or stumble on the road to reading proficiency.   

According the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy (July 22, 2017), if solid reading skills aren’t formed during a child’s early years, the odds of dropping out down the road increase significantly. Kids who aren’t successfully reading at grade level by the third grade are four times less likely to finish high school. Think about this statistic - it’s staggering.  

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Topics: Literacy

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!

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