Online Structured Courses for Continuing Education and Professional Development for Teachers | The Connecting Link

 

Courses by format: Online Structured

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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.
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.
Participants in this course will learn the history of the LGBTQ movement, key terminology, how preconception and discrimination impact the LGBTQ community and review strategies for fostering LGBTQ-inclusivity in schools. Participants will examine myths and perceptions, as well as curriculum and best practices associated with LGBTQ students. 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 LGBTQ students. 
This course is designed to give educators at all levels an overview of recent research on mindfulness practices and to provide step by step guidance on how to integrate these practices into the classroom. Participants in this course will learn what mindfulness is, why it is important, and how to creatively apply research-based mindfulness techniques in meeting the diverse learning needs of students. Attention will also be given to ways educators can use mindfulness to enhance their own professional and personal experience as teachers.
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.
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 how social media is an integral part of the school community. The positive and negative impact of social media on the school community will be discussed and explored. Participants will learn strategies to navigate social media concerns and issues. The course will help educators learn about norms in digital citizenship and how to plan and integrate social media tools in their classroom and school community. Social media frameworks for projects, lesson plans, and school functions will be reviewed. Participants will leave the course with social media tools to engage their students in new learning mediums and improve the classroom and school community environment.
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.
Educators will become skilled on how to use digital resources to collaborate, create, communicate, and assess students.  Participants will gain an understanding of internet resources to create an online classroom (using a web-based learning management system), flipped classroom and screen-casting, formative assessments, eBooks, videos, communication options for students and parents, and more to maximize the learning environment and reach students through different learning mediums.
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.