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.

  • Teachers: Find Your Ideal Learning Environment

    Spring means a lot of things to educators. Teachers across the country are preparing students for state testing while others are breaking out butterfly garden experiments. In the midst of everything happening in the classroom, many begin pondering employment opportunities for the next school year. Various reasons arise for why an educator begins a job...

    Read the rest
  • From Strict Seating Charts to 'Starbucks for Kids': Why Letting Go Brings Power

    Kayla Delzer was a self-described “master of the seating chart.” The second-grade teacher from South Dakota knew exactly which kids she could put by each other and which kids needed to be separated, she says. “I was super strategic about it,” says Delzer, a teacher at West Fargo Public School. But as time went on,...

    Read the rest
  • Time to Reassess Testing and Assessment for English Language Learners

    Think back to your days in school and the various tests and assessments that you took. There was probably everything from short quizzes during a unit, to large midterm and final exams for each subject, as well as the standardized assessments that most students take at the end of the school year. That adds up...

    Read the rest
  • A Day in the Life of an English Language Learner

    What do you remember about your time in grade school and middle school? You might recall the importance of making friends, being involved in meaningful extracurricular activities, and keeping your grades up. What about the awkward social encounters, or feeling inadequate in certain classes? Regardless of what you remember, even under the best of circumstances,...

    Read the rest
  • Why Teachers of English Language Learners Need Professional Development

    Teachers are debating how to best reach the growing number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in our K-12 classrooms. In the past, the ELL population was typically concentrated in inner cities and specific regions of the U.S. With ELLs making up 9.2 percent of the public K-12 population nationwide in school year 2012-13, according to...

    Read the rest
  • Want to Improve Students’ Math & Reading Scores? Add Physical Activity

    Beefing up instructional time may not be the best way to boost students’ academic skills. According to a new study in Pediatrics, adding physical activity to academic instruction can dramatically increase students’ math and language skills. The Pediatrics study, “Physically Active Math and Language Lessons Improve Academic Achievement: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial,” examined the...

    Read the rest
  • Betting It All on College- and Career-Ready Students

    After graduation, the path into adulthood has many different forks. As educators, the main objective is to prepare students to be college and career ready by providing them the necessary academic skills to be successful beyond the traditional classroom. The idea of having an educational standard at the state level where all students are considered...

    Read the rest
  • Now Trending: Higher-Order Thinking Skills

    When this generation thinks of the term “trending,” images of Kanye West, Donald Trump, or the Super Bowl may appear. Trending is defined as a topic of several social media posts in a short period of time.  Depending on the time of year, different events or concepts receive lots of attention. Many people may not...

    Read the rest
  • How ESSA Will Affect Educators: What's Known and Not Known

    In December 2015, President Barack Obama ended the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era when he signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. ESSA, a recertification of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, shifts a lot of power to the states. Whereas NCLB clearly outlined performance standards and required interventions, ESSA...

    Read the rest
  • Career Readiness After School: Employers Foot the Bill

    While we tend to think about career readiness in terms of students preparing for the workforce, American employers play an enormous role in the continual upgrading of employee education. Those who are already highly skilled are the most likely to receive additional formal training from their employers. Take Phil Gurbaugh, who graduated with a double...

    Read the rest
  • Guiding Parents through College and Career Readiness

    Regardless of a child’s background, family involvement in education is a major factor in the academic success of any student. Parents can steer the direction in life that their child takes, and they also can benefit from guidance themselves.

    Read the rest
  • Tech Boot Camps Help Students Leapfrog Into Jobs

    Tech boot camps have rapidly emerged as a solution for noncoders to quickly get into the marketplace. This new trend of short-term, intensive training has the potential to challenge how children prepare for STEM fields, as well as how much value employers put on college degrees. About 16,000 people are expected to complete boot camps...

    Read the rest
  • The Politically Connected Teacher

    Many educators often believe they have no control over their own destiny. They wait for things to happen to them based on legislation or current trends. However, when it comes to politics, the voice of the education community could be (and should be) among the loudest.

    Read the rest
  • Nursing and Education Combine to Create Nation’s First Nursing-Focused Charter School

    Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College developed in answer to some pressing problems: the underachievement and under-education of poor urban students and the lack of diversity — which contributes to health disparities — in nursing. With these problems in mind, and with the support of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association and Rhode Island Department...

    Read the rest
  • Student Feedback: The Mirror of Your Classroom

    It’s time for the weekly school assembly designed to build school spirit and enthusiasm for learning. The students file into the gym to recite quotes, sing patriotic songs, and listen to speeches about the importance of a good education. It’s a major undertaking, bringing in an entire school of students into one location, seating them...

    Read the rest
  • Ever Wonder... 'What is My Teaching Style?' Take Our Teaching Style Quiz to Find Out!

    Welcome to HotChalk’s teaching styles quiz! This short, 14-question quiz allows you to explore how your unique teaching and leadership style guides students inside the classroom and out. Keep in mind: Our teaching styles quiz is just a fun way to reflect on your teaching practices. Even more important is your ability to continue evolving...

    Read the rest
  • How to Be Successful in Education Without Really Trying

    A new school year is a new opportunity. As the summer dwindles away, learning environments begin to come to life. There is a sense of high standards; of promise for a year full of accomplishment, educational breakthroughs, and intrinsic reward. This isn’t to say that these rewards aren’t coupled with challenge, but those who are...

    Read the rest
  • The Solution to the Teacher Shortage Could Be in the Next Classroom

    Every year, school districts everywhere wrestle with an insufficient number of teachers for their classes despite increased recruiting efforts. Are there any solutions hidden in plain sight? Simply stated, there is a shortage of teacher candidates in the United States. Regardless of the state, teacher shortages have been a consistent thread in the educational fabric...

    Read the rest
  • Changing the World, One Teacher at a Time, With Yoga

    Ilana Nankin always wanted to be a teacher. Yet within a year of beginning her teaching career — as a pre-K teacher in San Francisco — she felt the stress and strain that nearly all new teachers experience. “I absolutely loved working with kids,” Nankin says, “but it was a very stressful time.” Nankin discovered...

    Read the rest
  • College and Career Readiness: Moving Beyond a Catchphrase

    The education world loves buzzwords. Phrases such as Common Core, Professional Learning Communities, and Positive Discipline flow in and out of school buildings like water in a stream. When does a concept move from a fad into a structured practice? When does an idea become an accepted part of the educational structure? For some educators,...

    Read the rest
  • Teachers: Find Your Ideal Learning Environment

    Spring means a lot of things to educators. Teachers across the country are preparing students for state testing while others are breaking out butterfly garden experiments. In the midst of everything happening in the classroom, many begin pondering employment opportunities for the next school year. Various reasons arise for why an educator begins a job...

    Read the rest
  • From Strict Seating Charts to 'Starbucks for Kids': Why Letting Go Brings Power

    Kayla Delzer was a self-described “master of the seating chart.” The second-grade teacher from South Dakota knew exactly which kids she could put by each other and which kids needed to be separated, she says. “I was super strategic about it,” says Delzer, a teacher at West Fargo Public School. But as time went on,...

    Read the rest
  • Time to Reassess Testing and Assessment for English Language Learners

    Think back to your days in school and the various tests and assessments that you took. There was probably everything from short quizzes during a unit, to large midterm and final exams for each subject, as well as the standardized assessments that most students take at the end of the school year. That adds up...

    Read the rest
  • A Day in the Life of an English Language Learner

    What do you remember about your time in grade school and middle school? You might recall the importance of making friends, being involved in meaningful extracurricular activities, and keeping your grades up. What about the awkward social encounters, or feeling inadequate in certain classes? Regardless of what you remember, even under the best of circumstances,...

    Read the rest
  • Why Teachers of English Language Learners Need Professional Development

    Teachers are debating how to best reach the growing number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in our K-12 classrooms. In the past, the ELL population was typically concentrated in inner cities and specific regions of the U.S. With ELLs making up 9.2 percent of the public K-12 population nationwide in school year 2012-13, according to...

    Read the rest
  • Want to Improve Students’ Math & Reading Scores? Add Physical Activity

    Beefing up instructional time may not be the best way to boost students’ academic skills. According to a new study in Pediatrics, adding physical activity to academic instruction can dramatically increase students’ math and language skills. The Pediatrics study, “Physically Active Math and Language Lessons Improve Academic Achievement: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial,” examined the...

    Read the rest
  • Betting It All on College- and Career-Ready Students

    After graduation, the path into adulthood has many different forks. As educators, the main objective is to prepare students to be college and career ready by providing them the necessary academic skills to be successful beyond the traditional classroom. The idea of having an educational standard at the state level where all students are considered...

    Read the rest
  • Now Trending: Higher-Order Thinking Skills

    When this generation thinks of the term “trending,” images of Kanye West, Donald Trump, or the Super Bowl may appear. Trending is defined as a topic of several social media posts in a short period of time.  Depending on the time of year, different events or concepts receive lots of attention. Many people may not...

    Read the rest
  • How ESSA Will Affect Educators: What's Known and Not Known

    In December 2015, President Barack Obama ended the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era when he signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. ESSA, a recertification of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, shifts a lot of power to the states. Whereas NCLB clearly outlined performance standards and required interventions, ESSA...

    Read the rest
  • Career Readiness After School: Employers Foot the Bill

    While we tend to think about career readiness in terms of students preparing for the workforce, American employers play an enormous role in the continual upgrading of employee education. Those who are already highly skilled are the most likely to receive additional formal training from their employers. Take Phil Gurbaugh, who graduated with a double...

    Read the rest
  • Guiding Parents through College and Career Readiness

    Regardless of a child’s background, family involvement in education is a major factor in the academic success of any student. Parents can steer the direction in life that their child takes, and they also can benefit from guidance themselves.

    Read the rest
  • Tech Boot Camps Help Students Leapfrog Into Jobs

    Tech boot camps have rapidly emerged as a solution for noncoders to quickly get into the marketplace. This new trend of short-term, intensive training has the potential to challenge how children prepare for STEM fields, as well as how much value employers put on college degrees. About 16,000 people are expected to complete boot camps...

    Read the rest
  • The Politically Connected Teacher

    Many educators often believe they have no control over their own destiny. They wait for things to happen to them based on legislation or current trends. However, when it comes to politics, the voice of the education community could be (and should be) among the loudest.

    Read the rest
  • Nursing and Education Combine to Create Nation’s First Nursing-Focused Charter School

    Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College developed in answer to some pressing problems: the underachievement and under-education of poor urban students and the lack of diversity — which contributes to health disparities — in nursing. With these problems in mind, and with the support of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association and Rhode Island Department...

    Read the rest
  • Student Feedback: The Mirror of Your Classroom

    It’s time for the weekly school assembly designed to build school spirit and enthusiasm for learning. The students file into the gym to recite quotes, sing patriotic songs, and listen to speeches about the importance of a good education. It’s a major undertaking, bringing in an entire school of students into one location, seating them...

    Read the rest
  • Ever Wonder... 'What is My Teaching Style?' Take Our Teaching Style Quiz to Find Out!

    Welcome to HotChalk’s teaching styles quiz! This short, 14-question quiz allows you to explore how your unique teaching and leadership style guides students inside the classroom and out. Keep in mind: Our teaching styles quiz is just a fun way to reflect on your teaching practices. Even more important is your ability to continue evolving...

    Read the rest
  • How to Be Successful in Education Without Really Trying

    A new school year is a new opportunity. As the summer dwindles away, learning environments begin to come to life. There is a sense of high standards; of promise for a year full of accomplishment, educational breakthroughs, and intrinsic reward. This isn’t to say that these rewards aren’t coupled with challenge, but those who are...

    Read the rest
  • The Solution to the Teacher Shortage Could Be in the Next Classroom

    Every year, school districts everywhere wrestle with an insufficient number of teachers for their classes despite increased recruiting efforts. Are there any solutions hidden in plain sight? Simply stated, there is a shortage of teacher candidates in the United States. Regardless of the state, teacher shortages have been a consistent thread in the educational fabric...

    Read the rest
  • Changing the World, One Teacher at a Time, With Yoga

    Ilana Nankin always wanted to be a teacher. Yet within a year of beginning her teaching career — as a pre-K teacher in San Francisco — she felt the stress and strain that nearly all new teachers experience. “I absolutely loved working with kids,” Nankin says, “but it was a very stressful time.” Nankin discovered...

    Read the rest
  • College and Career Readiness: Moving Beyond a Catchphrase

    The education world loves buzzwords. Phrases such as Common Core, Professional Learning Communities, and Positive Discipline flow in and out of school buildings like water in a stream. When does a concept move from a fad into a structured practice? When does an idea become an accepted part of the educational structure? For some educators,...

    Read the rest