Educators

The HotChalk Education Network offers teachers and administrators the latest news, information and other resources needed to help understand, implement and teach toward state academic standards.

Our goal is to become the go-to fully independent resource for educators nationwide working to effectively engage with college and career readiness initiatives, and provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and creation of meaningful online relationships among teachers, administrators and others.

  • Instructional Techniques for Teachers of ELLs

    Whether teachers specialize in working with English Language Learners full time or only have a few ELLs in their content area courses, knowledge of current and effective instructional techniques for teaching ELLs is crucial. Teachers can take important steps before, during, and after each lesson to make sure ELLs are optimally engaged in the learning...

    Read the rest
  • Balancing Student Preparation for Standardized Testing

    As the seasons move from winter to spring, we start preparing for the vernal equinox by planting flowers, cleaning the attic, and reviewing for standardized testing. Many students across the country have begun intense testing practice well before the changing of seasons, leaving them in a state of burnout and apprehension. The culture of testing...

    Read the rest
  • Increasing Your Teaching IQ Through Curriculum Leadership

    Chris Paul is an NBA point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, and a very talented individual. He has a reputation for possessing a very large basketball IQ. Even at a high tempo, Chris Paul can see the bigger picture of what takes place on the basketball court, and his understanding of the game is...

    Read the rest
  • Magnifying the Education System: The Educational Turf War

    With a change in leadership at the U.S. Department of Education looming, the topic of school choice has quickly come to the forefront of conversations in education. Unfortunately, the definition of school choice varies depending on the source of the information. How do you view school choice? Proponents see school choice, as defined by EdChoice...

    Read the rest
  • Magnifying the Educational System: Why Teachers Don’t Deserve Just More Money

    Why, as a society, do we deem it acceptable to pay educators so much less than other professionals in careers of high regard?

    Read the rest
  • Community Resources Help ELLs Improve Skills, Knowledge

    What could be more important to learning a language than interacting with the community? As English Language Learners of all ages work to improve both their content knowledge and English language skills, they engage meaningfully with their communities in a number of ways. Just think about the ways we all learn throughout the day by...

    Read the rest
  • Magnifying the American Educational System: The War on Poverty in the Classroom

    One out of every five students in our schools fights each day to attain basic human needs. President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty was not won, and the battle rages in our classrooms each day.

    Read the rest
  • Can ESSA Prepare Students for the Future?

    There is substantial momentum supporting the Every Student Succeeds Act and its emphasis on state decision-making power. As a whole, the education community is excited about the possibilities this federal change can bring, but how much does this legislation positively impact students? Primarily, how does ESSA help students on their path to college and career...

    Read the rest
  • Language Acquisition Theories for Teachers of ELLs

    With the number of English Language Learners in the U.S. growing, teachers of all grade levels and content areas come into contact with ELLs in their classrooms. But only the language specialists have traditionally had a background in the theory behind how people actually learn languages so schools struggle to best meet ELL’s needs. Almost...

    Read the rest
  • Making a Mentor

    Have you been asked to mentor a new teacher? Mentors are tremendously helpful in building the skills and confidence of new teachers. An effective mentor can channel an idealistic newbie’s ambition into a lifelong devotion to educational excellence. The best mentors model professional practice and exemplary teaching strategies, and help new teachers cope with the...

    Read the rest
  • Technology for 21st-Century English Language Learners

    The 21st century is an amazing time for learning. The days of searching through stacks of books in libraries for basic facts and information are long gone. Interaction with the global community is at our fingertips 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Technology is at the heart of most learning today and...

    Read the rest
  • Getting Guys to Write: A Conversation with Author and Educator Diana Cruchley

    Think about the boys in your class. How many of them would you describe as good writers? Now think about the girls. How many of them are good writers? If yours is a typical classroom, the “good writers” in your class are predominantly girls. The boys? Most of them probably write just enough to get...

    Read the rest
  • Recipe for a Successful Classroom

    My daughter enjoys making cookies. She has a specific recipe that she relies on, but it’s a recipe she had to modify until she produced the type of product she was proud to serve. I am usually her baking assistant, so I’ve been with her through many successful and disastrous batches. We’ve both learned a...

    Read the rest
  • Who are the English Language Learners in the U.S. Today?

    Teachers, school administrators, and policymakers have increased their focus on English Language Learners lately because of increasing numbers of ELLs in public schools. If we are to properly serve and teach this population of students, we must understand their backgrounds, similarities, and differences. We must also understand how each region of the U.S. and type...

    Read the rest
  • Diverse Classrooms that Work

    The conversation surrounding the topic of diversity in schools is as broad as the student population it represents. Concerns regarding achievement gaps, resegregation, subgroup performance on standardized testing, and language disparity has made diversity a subject that can no longer be ignored. Teachers who work in schools that cater to students from various backgrounds face...

    Read the rest
  • 'Helping Children Succeed' Author Paul Tough on What Works and Why

    Grit. Perseverance. Self-Control. Optimism. In recent years, there’s been a growing awareness, both within and beyond the educational community, of the importance of noncognitive skills. That awareness was driven in part by author Paul Tough’s 2013 New York Times best-seller. In his new book “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why,” Tough explores why the achievement gap has remained stable and the importance of environment in education.

    Read the rest
  • Want Your Students to Excel? Focus on Noncognitive Skills

    No one expected Barry Saide to become a teacher. He was a mediocre student, at best, and he hated school, a place that was populated with bullies and uncaring teachers. “When I was in seventh grade, my teacher handed me my report card and said, ‘that’s a lot of Ds on that report card,’” Saide...

    Read the rest
  • Micro-Credentials May Lead to Macro-Learning

    The term “professional development” is well known in the education world. When a teacher or principal thinks of professional development, they may be quick to envision a conference room where they sit and learn about a certain topic for a specific amount of time. The result is supposed to be the attainment of a new...

    Read the rest
  • Proficiency Levels of English Language Learners

    Teachers of all grade levels and content areas should be aware of the various levels of English proficiency for ELLs. Proficiency levels vary greatly and have critical impacts on placement, instruction, assessment, and social development, and college and career readiness.

    Read the rest
  • English Language Learners with Special Needs

    Today’s teachers know more about both ELLs (English Language Learners) and Special Education than ever before. Yet, the combination of ELLs with various special needs poses unique issues with identification, instruction, and assessment. Two student profiles: Lan and Huy Lan is a fourth grade student in an urban public school. Her family came to the...

    Read the rest
  • Instructional Techniques for Teachers of ELLs

    Whether teachers specialize in working with English Language Learners full time or only have a few ELLs in their content area courses, knowledge of current and effective instructional techniques for teaching ELLs is crucial. Teachers can take important steps before, during, and after each lesson to make sure ELLs are optimally engaged in the learning...

    Read the rest
  • Balancing Student Preparation for Standardized Testing

    As the seasons move from winter to spring, we start preparing for the vernal equinox by planting flowers, cleaning the attic, and reviewing for standardized testing. Many students across the country have begun intense testing practice well before the changing of seasons, leaving them in a state of burnout and apprehension. The culture of testing...

    Read the rest
  • Increasing Your Teaching IQ Through Curriculum Leadership

    Chris Paul is an NBA point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, and a very talented individual. He has a reputation for possessing a very large basketball IQ. Even at a high tempo, Chris Paul can see the bigger picture of what takes place on the basketball court, and his understanding of the game is...

    Read the rest
  • Magnifying the Education System: The Educational Turf War

    With a change in leadership at the U.S. Department of Education looming, the topic of school choice has quickly come to the forefront of conversations in education. Unfortunately, the definition of school choice varies depending on the source of the information. How do you view school choice? Proponents see school choice, as defined by EdChoice...

    Read the rest
  • Magnifying the Educational System: Why Teachers Don’t Deserve Just More Money

    Why, as a society, do we deem it acceptable to pay educators so much less than other professionals in careers of high regard?

    Read the rest
  • Community Resources Help ELLs Improve Skills, Knowledge

    What could be more important to learning a language than interacting with the community? As English Language Learners of all ages work to improve both their content knowledge and English language skills, they engage meaningfully with their communities in a number of ways. Just think about the ways we all learn throughout the day by...

    Read the rest
  • Magnifying the American Educational System: The War on Poverty in the Classroom

    One out of every five students in our schools fights each day to attain basic human needs. President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty was not won, and the battle rages in our classrooms each day.

    Read the rest
  • Can ESSA Prepare Students for the Future?

    There is substantial momentum supporting the Every Student Succeeds Act and its emphasis on state decision-making power. As a whole, the education community is excited about the possibilities this federal change can bring, but how much does this legislation positively impact students? Primarily, how does ESSA help students on their path to college and career...

    Read the rest
  • Language Acquisition Theories for Teachers of ELLs

    With the number of English Language Learners in the U.S. growing, teachers of all grade levels and content areas come into contact with ELLs in their classrooms. But only the language specialists have traditionally had a background in the theory behind how people actually learn languages so schools struggle to best meet ELL’s needs. Almost...

    Read the rest
  • Making a Mentor

    Have you been asked to mentor a new teacher? Mentors are tremendously helpful in building the skills and confidence of new teachers. An effective mentor can channel an idealistic newbie’s ambition into a lifelong devotion to educational excellence. The best mentors model professional practice and exemplary teaching strategies, and help new teachers cope with the...

    Read the rest
  • Technology for 21st-Century English Language Learners

    The 21st century is an amazing time for learning. The days of searching through stacks of books in libraries for basic facts and information are long gone. Interaction with the global community is at our fingertips 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Technology is at the heart of most learning today and...

    Read the rest
  • Getting Guys to Write: A Conversation with Author and Educator Diana Cruchley

    Think about the boys in your class. How many of them would you describe as good writers? Now think about the girls. How many of them are good writers? If yours is a typical classroom, the “good writers” in your class are predominantly girls. The boys? Most of them probably write just enough to get...

    Read the rest
  • Recipe for a Successful Classroom

    My daughter enjoys making cookies. She has a specific recipe that she relies on, but it’s a recipe she had to modify until she produced the type of product she was proud to serve. I am usually her baking assistant, so I’ve been with her through many successful and disastrous batches. We’ve both learned a...

    Read the rest
  • Who are the English Language Learners in the U.S. Today?

    Teachers, school administrators, and policymakers have increased their focus on English Language Learners lately because of increasing numbers of ELLs in public schools. If we are to properly serve and teach this population of students, we must understand their backgrounds, similarities, and differences. We must also understand how each region of the U.S. and type...

    Read the rest
  • Diverse Classrooms that Work

    The conversation surrounding the topic of diversity in schools is as broad as the student population it represents. Concerns regarding achievement gaps, resegregation, subgroup performance on standardized testing, and language disparity has made diversity a subject that can no longer be ignored. Teachers who work in schools that cater to students from various backgrounds face...

    Read the rest
  • 'Helping Children Succeed' Author Paul Tough on What Works and Why

    Grit. Perseverance. Self-Control. Optimism. In recent years, there’s been a growing awareness, both within and beyond the educational community, of the importance of noncognitive skills. That awareness was driven in part by author Paul Tough’s 2013 New York Times best-seller. In his new book “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why,” Tough explores why the achievement gap has remained stable and the importance of environment in education.

    Read the rest
  • Want Your Students to Excel? Focus on Noncognitive Skills

    No one expected Barry Saide to become a teacher. He was a mediocre student, at best, and he hated school, a place that was populated with bullies and uncaring teachers. “When I was in seventh grade, my teacher handed me my report card and said, ‘that’s a lot of Ds on that report card,’” Saide...

    Read the rest
  • Micro-Credentials May Lead to Macro-Learning

    The term “professional development” is well known in the education world. When a teacher or principal thinks of professional development, they may be quick to envision a conference room where they sit and learn about a certain topic for a specific amount of time. The result is supposed to be the attainment of a new...

    Read the rest
  • Proficiency Levels of English Language Learners

    Teachers of all grade levels and content areas should be aware of the various levels of English proficiency for ELLs. Proficiency levels vary greatly and have critical impacts on placement, instruction, assessment, and social development, and college and career readiness.

    Read the rest
  • English Language Learners with Special Needs

    Today’s teachers know more about both ELLs (English Language Learners) and Special Education than ever before. Yet, the combination of ELLs with various special needs poses unique issues with identification, instruction, and assessment. Two student profiles: Lan and Huy Lan is a fourth grade student in an urban public school. Her family came to the...

    Read the rest