Instructional Strategies Courses - Online and On-Site Based Courses for Continuing Education and Professional Development for Teachers | The Connecting Link

 

Courses by category: Instructional Strategies

Filter Courses
This course is designed to explore the essential elements needed for the acquisition of knowledge and competencies to promote 21st century learning skills. Participants in this course will learn about the need for collaboration, communication, and critical and creative thinking. The effective use of technology and media literacy will be investigated. This course prepares teachers by engaging them in thoughtful dialogue and activities that promote 21st century ideas and understanding of students’ diverse, digital, and global learning needs.
Course participants will gain a deep understanding of the impact attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has on the performance of students in the classroom. Research-based instructional strategies and behavior management strategies will be explored, along with methods to improve executive function skills. The implementation of appropriate accommodations, modifications, and interventions will also be highlighted. This course engages participants with meaningful, applicable, and practical activities with a focus on success for students with ADHD.
This course is designed to enhance a participant’s knowledge of assessment and grading practices. The following themes will be investigated: formative assessment, summative assessment, learning targets and outcomes, methods of assessing, types of assessment protocols, grading practices, providing feedback, and defining mastery. This course prepares teachers by providing them with the essential elements needed to translate assessment of learning to assessment for learning. 
Participants in this course will examine collaborative, engaged, cooperative learning—a significant shift away from the typical teacher-centered classroom. Participants will learn how developing a classroom culture of trust, safety, challenge, and joy can foster engaged and effective learning. Research suggests that effective communication and collaboration are essential to becoming a successful learner. Participants will learn how to develop classroom learning experiences around students’ constructing knowledge and engaging in action together. Techniques to develop intrinsic motivation that leads to student engagement and achievement will be researched. Foundational work in this course will include the research and use of collaborative learning, engaged learning, and cooperative learning models. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and create applications for implementation into their own classrooms.
Participants in the course will receive a comprehensive overview of how smartphones can be used to collaborate, create, and assess in the classroom. Teachers will examine current trends, beliefs, and applications of the smartphone and how to effectively manage these devices with students in their classroom. Completion of the course will provide you with a wealth of ideas and skills to create your dynamic classroom using your smartphone.
This course provides participants with a solid framework for planning, implementing and maintaining successful co-teaching relationships that improve the learning instruction of all students. Participants will reflect on the definition of co-teaching, components of the co-teaching relationship, examine a variety of co-teaching models and how they support student learning, and evaluate their current co-teaching programs. Participants will leave the course knowing several co-teaching practices between general and special education teachers, as well as, between two general education teachers in the same classroom, and how to effectively work as a co-teaching partner to create opportunities for success for all learners.
Differentiated assessment is the key to helping every student have success within their own learning style. This course is designed to help educators discover new ways to assess students from a variety of different learning styles. A focus on strategies for performing pre-assessments, formative assessments, and summative assessments as well as alternative assessments such as performance-based assessments, portfolios, presentations and more to give options for students to have success other than the traditional pen-and-paper assessment. Classroom examples will be reviewed to help see how differentiated assessment can provide direction for improvement, promote confidence, and motivate students to do their best. Participants will leave the course with a better understanding of assessment practices and a wealth of resources to effectively differentiate assessments in their classroom.
This course is designed to provide K–12 educators an understanding and breakdown of, as well as strategies for teaching, the English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core Standards in the disciplines: History/Social Science, Science, and Technical (HST). Participants of this course will learn what the ELA HST standards are, what it means to be “literate” in each of the disciplines, and how to create such literacies.  Most significantly, participants will learn teaching strategies to embrace the new HST ELA standards, with a particular focus on strengthening classroom practice in the biggest shift areas from old to new literacy standards.
This course is designed to provide K–8 educators, paraprofessionals and/or administrators with a widespread knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Participants will explore historical data and diagnosis statistics, characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders and co-morbid diagnoses.  Additionally, course content will focus on implementation of classroom strategies to meet the diverse learning needs of students on the Autism Spectrum.  Participants will research, analyze and effectively select evidence based strategies appropriate for students with Autism.
This course is designed to teach participants the importance of metacognition, provide background knowledge of the core executive function processes, and help apply their knowledge of executive function processes to help students better understand themselves as learners. Participants will learn how executive functioning skills are the cognitive powers that help develop good habits which leads to effective school and life management. The course will also look at the process of how to create effective assessments. Assessments are essential to the learning process, as evidenced in that assessments inform the instructor on the effectiveness of their instruction, as well as they provide a way to measure students' mastery of the course's educational learning targets. The course will explore how to identify course goals for assessment, determine test structure and design, write effective questions, and apply a variety of testing methods to differentiate testing methods.
This course is designed to promote an awareness of intellectual giftedness, its description, and characteristics of gifted and talented students. Participants will examine characteristics of gifted students, myths and perceptions, as well as curriculum and best practices associated with gifted education. Participants will be provided multiple opportunities to engage in discussions and activities that refine and define strategies and practices focusing on meeting the comprehensive needs of gifted and talented students.
Participants in the course will receive a comprehensive overview of how virtual field trips (VFT) can be used in their classroom, created in a variety of ways, and experienced no matter your school’s resources. An overview of VFT resources will be explored and examined. Participants will experience a variety of basic VFTs to more complex VFTs; these experiences will guide the teacher to help get a better understanding of how to plan a VFT for their own classroom. VFT resources for the iPad and Google chrome will be showcased and explained with numerous tutorials, as well as other online programs to help create classroom adventures. Participants will learn about and experience the game changing service Google Expeditions that was recently launched, as well as the low cost virtual reality helmet Google Cardboard. Resources for Google Expeditions and Cardboard will be explored and examined to help you implement these items into your classroom. Teachers will also learn how students can create their own virtual reality adventures.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) has been recognized as a critical factor in students' success in school and beyond. SEL involves five essential components including: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills. Through readings, videos, personal reflection, and online forum questions, participants will explore each of these components and learn how SEL and academics go hand-in-hand. Participants will leave the course with resources and strategies designed to support the social and emotional learning needs of students.
This course is designed to help educators build a classroom structure where differentiated instruction can occur on a daily basis to create high expectations for student achievement for varying abilities. Through the use of videos, readings, personal reflection, and online forum questions, participants will experience differentiated instruction as well as learn methods to implement strategies in their own classroom. Participants will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate differentiated instruction, including how to identify learning styles, create tiered activities, differentiation strategies, and effective classroom management. Participants will leave the course with resources and strategies to reach students of varying abilities, grades, and learning styles and help them take ownership of their education.
This course is designed to help K–12 teachers navigate the ever-growing complexities of the education profession while simultaneously helping them to balance their lives and careers. Teachers will learn the tenets of Positive Psychology (Seligman) and related theories and strategies. These, in turn, will provide the foundation for increasing personal and professional resilience, maintaining flexibility, and tending to physical and mental health as a basis to improve classroom experiences for all. Teachers will also survey current initiatives, standards, and skills, such as the Common Core State Standards, RtI, the Danielson Evaluation model, the Flipped Class model, and 21st century skills. 
This course provides a survey into the major theories of language acquisition and their applications to the instruction and assessment of English language learners. K–12 educators will learn strategies to support English language learners in regular education classrooms. Special emphasis will be given to differentiation of lesson plans and activities to promote vocabulary development and reading skills for the English language learner.
The following themes will be investigated: purposes of assessment, scientifically based research in reading, the cycle of decision making for assessment and instruction, understanding phonological awareness and assessments, understanding phonics and word identification and their assessments, emergent literacy assessments, language and vocabulary development and assessment, assessing oral reading and fluency, assessing reading and listening comprehension, and formal and informal reading assessments and data interpretation to guide instruction.
This course is intended for K–12 educators seeking ways to expand their teaching expertise by applying outdoor education skills and awareness as a means to improve student learning. Educators will be provided with opportunities to explore and make sense of current research and to become confident in their abilities to utilize the outdoors as they plan lessons within their curricular areas.
This course provides general, special, and paraprofessional K-12 educators with the fundamental concepts and instructional strategies to promote the successful social and academic integration of children with disabilities, and those students at-risk for school failure, in the general education classroom.  Participants will explore the benefits of collaborating with colleagues to design and implement effective instruction to meet the needs of all learners in an inclusive classroom.  A brief history of special education and the federal policies related to the general education teacher and a student’s least restrictive environment, as well as current educational models, used to educate students with disabilities in the general education classroom will be reviewed.
Participants in this course will examine research-based proactive practices and best practices of the alternative discipline. Strategies for improving classroom and school culture through the use of alternative discipline will be explored. Participants will reflect on their discipline philosophy to establish a framework for growth to effectively implement positive alternative discipline interventions and strategies. Participants will learn about alternatives to school discipline and the most effective ways to reach students and to reward positive behaviors. When students do misbehave participants will learn ways that students can still receive appropriate instructional time and be part of the classroom community. Participants will leave the course with a toolkit of resources to impact their classroom and school community through alternative discipline.
This course is designed to enhance a participant’s knowledge of brain research. The following themes will be explored throughout the course: brain development, information processing, memory and retention, transferring learning, and critical thinking. Participants in this course will explore ways to design brain-friendly and effective lesson plans using the latest scientific findings and discoveries. This course prepares teachers by providing them with the essential elements needed to translate the biology of brain-based learning from theory into classroom practice.
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success for at-risk students by developing student resilience, designing active learning experiences, motivating underachievers, and fostering social emotional skills. Participants will explore strategies for reaching students of poverty and students with ADHD, and learn how to work effectively with at-risk students and their parents.
Participants in this course will learn about the multi-tiered Response to Intervention (RTI) model and how it can assist in increasing student achievement, foster classroom engagement, be an alternative avenue for student identification of special services, and learn practical strategies and tools to implement essential components of Response to Intervention (RTI) in a variety of classroom and school settings. The course will expose participants to needed skills and techniques to develop a partnership to use RTI strategies and explore researched-based methodologies to remediate students. A comprehensive roadmap will be followed to learn how to implement RTI, assess students in a variety of mediums, and differentiate instruction using a plethora of RTI interventions.
This course is designed to help teachers understand school law as it pertains to the rights of students, the rights of teachers, and the legal expectations of today’s public schools; thereby improving their effectiveness.  Participants in this course will develop an overall sense of the spirit of school law so that they may not only teach students to become good citizens, but also to ensure that their rights are protected in the educational process.  In addition, participants will learn about their rights as government employees regarding Freedom of Speech and employment issues.
With the soaring concerns of mental health issues, students need to be supported more than ever with their social and emotional development. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) involves teaching and modeling five lifelong skills: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills. In this course, participants will learn how to weave SEL into the curriculum, which has been shown to increase academic outcomes and promote overall positive mental health among students. Participants will also explore strategies to support and enhance their own mental health and well-being.
Participants in this course will examine student-centered classrooms with a constructivist approach - a significant shift away from the typical teacher-centered classroom. In a student-centered classroom, much of the direction and leadership is passed onto the students and the teacher becomes the classroom facilitator. This course provides participants with an in-depth exploration of how student-centered classrooms can engage and enhance the learning of all students. Effective student-centered teaching strategies, lesson planning, classroom management methods, and differentiated assessments will be explored. Participants will learn how having a constructivist approach to the student-centered classroom can have students take charge of their learning at any grade level and become independent learners who can create, discover, and problem solve on their own.
According to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, “the pace of growth of online and blended learning has grown at an average of over 30% each year for the past 10 years across the United States” (2011).  This course provides educators with the skills for effective online teaching. It is intended for experienced educators and will include types of online teaching, concepts and structures of effective lesson creation and online instruction, technologies and strategies that support student engagement and increased learning, how to create and facilitate online communities, meeting content standards within an online classroom (e.g., Common Core Standards), and implementing formative assessments as a means to enhance online instruction.
This course is designed to help educators build a classroom structure where differentiated instruction can occur on a daily basis for varying abilities. Through the use of videos, readings, personal reflection, and online forum questions, participants will experience differentiated instruction as well as learn methods to implement strategies in their own classroom. Participants will learn to shape and maintain learning conditions that facilitate differentiated instruction, including how to identify learning styles, create tiered activities, differentiation strategies, effective classroom management, and design the physical space for classroom differentiation scenarios. Participants will leave the course with resources and strategies to reach students of varying abilities, grades, and learning styles and help them take ownership of their education.
Participants in the course will learn about what is a flipped classroom and how it differs from a traditional classroom. Pros and cons of the flipped classroom will be discussed. The videos and lessons will help you shape your view of a flipped classroom that works in your school setting. Participants will learn and gain effective lesson planning skills to flip their classroom, common pitfalls of flipped classroom planning, and resources on how to prepare students for the flipped classroom model will be examined and viewed. Techniques to motivate students and how to deal with unprepared students will be learned. Teachers will explore, examine and evaluate numerous platforms to flip their classrooms. Selection criteria for choosing a platform that fits their needs will be learned through exploring the various options each platform has. Teachers will learn about assessment strategies when using a flipped classroom and reflect on their own classroom. Interactive video platforms that allow for questioning to occur during the flipped lesson will be explored and reviewed. Upon completion of the course students will be able to create and effectively implement a flipped classroom lesson.
This course will educate participants on the difference of a fixed or growth mindset, and how Appreciative Inquiry (AI) can cultivate the classroom environment into a place of risk taking and success. Participants will learn about their own mindset and how it impacts students, as well as techniques for evaluating the growth mindset, strategies for reframing failures to successes, and devising lesson plans with the growth mindset in mind. Participants will also learn about Appreciative Inquiry and how it is among the growing trend of approaches to human development and organizational change. Focus on the power of positive question and imagery, sharing stories, and implementation of Dr. David Cooperrider’s 4-D cycle will be reviewed, along with implementation strategies. Participants will leave the course understanding how to create a dynamic classroom that fosters growth and compassion; that will create bonds with students to push them further and increase test scores.
This course is designed to provide teachers with research-based, proactive practices, and habits of mind for transformative classroom leadership. Strategies for creating a high-functioning learning community can promote skills that are critical for success both in and outside the classroom. The following attributes of a transformative classroom will be explored: clarity of purpose, self-responsibility, relationships among students, and an increasing level of function over time (based on Schindler’s model of Transformative Classroom Management). Grounded with an inner purpose, key attitudes, and strategies, teachers will learn how to discern the underlying effective teacher-student interactions, so they can recognize how to proactively prevent misbehaviors and intervene effectively when misbehaviors occur. Self-assessment and reflection are built into the activities, projects, and discussions so that teachers can examine their dispositions and efficacy as educators.