The Chalk Blog

Intentional Wellness... Even in January

How to stay on top of your New Year's Resolutions!

Well, it’s here…January. For most people, January can be the start of a brand-new year with a brand new (hopefully attainable) New Year’s resolution or the possibility of looking forward to a Spring break vacation. But for teachers, January can mean no outdoor recess for learners with abundant energy and daily cleaning of all classroom surfaces with antibacterial wipes. So, how…how on Earth, do teachers ensure their own wellness during this time? Intentionally and with support!

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Mental Health of Students [VIDEO]

Preventing Those Mid-Year Blues

It's that time of year again where mental health seems to be a struggle for everyone. As educators, we need to be aware of how our students are feeling at all times. This video blog from one of our amazing Curriculum and Instruction team members, Susanne, is a great start for learning more about student mental health.

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

The 6 C's

2019 Edition

I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I know that New Year’s is NOT the middle of the school year.  In fact, it’s a little weird, because as the new year begins, even though you make resolutions, it’s not always the time you think about what you can do differently in your classrooms.  However, I offer a few words that might help you as you make it through the long winter, and beyond…

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Set SMART Goals for 2019

Setting goals has never been so simple!

Every December, I start to hear my friends and family talk about their New Year’s resolutions-- drink more water, eat better, exercise.  Let’s be real, teacher friends.  These resolutions are too lofty and vague.  Failure is sure to follow.  What we really need is to get SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely)! 

As teachers, we’re very familiar with setting SMART goals for and with students to help them achieve at higher levels in math, reading or to improve behavior.  We look at data, determine the target, then plot out how and when students will meet the goal.  Research tells us that goal setting is the single most powerful motivational tool because it “provides purpose, challenge, and meaning. Goals energize people. Specific, clear, challenging goals lead to greater effort and achievement than easy or vague goals do.” (Blanchard, 2007) 

So if SMART goals work for students, why can’t they help us meet our own personal and professional goals?  Here’s how you can transform your tired New Year's resolutions into SMART goals! 

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

Just for You: PCE!

It's about to get personal...

Although I am not (yet) a famous “influencer” I will do my part to try to influence you into using a new educational acronym: PCE!

PCE stands for Personalized Continuing Education, and it is all the rage! Instead of being told what you need or should learn, you get to decide! In fact, having control over your professional development and what you are learning is “energy-giving” according to the author of "Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day No Matter What" by Angela Watson. If you are ready to energize and personalize your professional development, Learners Edge has FIVE PCE (Personalized Continuing Education) opportunities for you (am I influencing you, yet?!):

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Topics: Courses, Teaching Excellence, Personalized Continuing Ed

Grasp and Grip [VIDEO]

Simple ways to increase classroom play

Skills that should be "simple" have slowly become lost in the shuffle of technology. As teachers, it's important to incorporate activities in your classroom that allow students to work on their grasp and grip. Susie, one of our Curriculum & Instruction team members, is here to give you some quick ideas!

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

Teaching Replacement Behaviors

Saving time and energy with proactive teaching strategies!

“We can’t hold kids accountable for things we’ve never told them we expect. Behavior should be treated like academics. Students have to be taught the skills they need.” Erin Green, Director of National Services Operations at Boys Town, had this right!

As a former teacher of students with emotional and/or behavioral challenges, I found myself spending much of my time creating functional behavior assessments and behavior support plans, writing individualized education plans, collecting data, developing reinforcement programs and intervening in behavioral crisis. Far less of my time was spent actually teaching! And rarely did I proactively teach replacement behaviors. Can anyone relate?

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Special Populations

Getting Students to Write [VIDEO]

Fun prompts to get your class engaged!

Creating writing prompts is easy. Creating FUN writing prompts to boost student engagement... now that's a tricky one! Dawn from our Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction team is here to give you some fresh ideas on how to get your students to write. 

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

Organizing Class Book Sets [VIDEO]

How to keep class book sets intact

Teaching every student how to keep their paperback books intact throughout the year can be a very difficult task. Keely from Learners Edge is here with three simple suggestions that you can implement in your class!

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Topics: Video, Educator Coaching, Teaching Excellence

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

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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