Steve Novak | Online Learning for Teachers pursuing Continuing Education and Professional Development | The Connecting Link

 

Steve Novak

Instructor photo

Steve brings over thirty years' experience in K-12 education ranging from teacher, assistant principal, elementary school principal, administrator, project manager and executive coach. His graduate degrees are in Educational Administration and Supervision, and Music Education. Steve has designed professional development and workshops for teachers, directors, and parents on student assessments, 21st-century learning, Common Core Standards, Danielson Framework for Teaching and best practices. In his free time, he enjoys writing, listening to music, taking long walks, biking, and kayaking.

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.
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.
Course #: IMF22509
Dates: 10/10/22 - 11/06/22
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

View Course
This course is designed to give educators at all levels (K-12) an overview of the complexities of bullying that include the bully, victim, and bystander. Bullying occurs in a variety of forms in every school and not only does it impact students, but parents and teachers as well. In this course, participants will explore current research and learn how to effectively combat a variety of bullying (physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying), and construct a classroom culture of growth and mutual respect. Educators will develop effective tools for the identification and prevention of bullying behaviors, as well as tools to deal with the bully, victim, and bystanders to create opportunities for change which can positively influence student relationships and achievement.
Course #: IMF22510
Dates: 10/31/22 - 11/29/22
Categories:

Equity & Diversity 21st-Century Teaching

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Participants in this course will learn and explore research-based strategies and frameworks that foster a classroom climate (in both virtual and in-person settings) that maximizes each student’s full learning potential. Strategies for creating a high-functioning learning community can promote skills that are critical for success both inside and outside of the classroom. The course will provide participants the strategies and techniques to design and foster environments, which are conducive to a safe place for teaching, learning, and connecting the community to the school. Participants’ classroom leadership abilities are developed as a result of engaging in this learning experience. Participants will learn ways to create a students-centered approach to classroom rules, norms, managing disruptive behavior through positive discipline, increase student responsibility/accountability, how social and emotional needs impact classroom management, and how grading/assessment practices can add to their classroom management culture. Self-assessment and reflection are built into the course activities, projects, and discussions so that participants can examine their growth in fostering a better student-teacher relationship that improves the classroom environment.
Course #: IMF22511
Dates: 11/07/22 - 12/04/22
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

View Course
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 examine methodologies to facilitate the growth of curiosity and creativity in their students. Participants will learn how developing a classroom culture of curiosity and creativity can foster engaged and effective learning. Research suggests that increasing curiosity and creativity in a classroom can lead to a more student-centered classroom. Techniques to develop curiosity and creativity that leads to student engagement and achievement will be researched and explored. Foundational work in this course will include the research on developing creativity and curiosity strategies from simple to complex, lesson planning, and using project-based learning to enhance the classroom. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and leave the course with a better understanding of how to assess and develop creative and curious thought in their students, improve classroom culture through use of innovative strategies, develop an expertise in their own classroom to foster a creative environment, and foster the growth of curious learners to solve problems creatively.
Course #: IMF22512
Dates: 11/28/22 - 12/27/22
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

View Course
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.
Course #: ILF22000
Dates: 10/08/22 - 10/29/22
Location: Libertyville Civic Center
Categories:

Equity & Diversity Instructional Strategies

Format:

Site Based

View Course
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.
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the growth of curiosity and creativity in their students. Participants will learn how developing a classroom culture of curiosity and creativity can foster engaged and effective learning. Research suggests that increasing curiosity and creativity in a classroom can lead to a more student-centered classroom. Techniques to develop curiosity and creativity that leads to student engagement and achievement will be researched and explored. Foundational work in this course will include the research on developing creativity and curiosity strategies from simple to complex, lesson planning, and using project-based learning to enhance the classroom. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and leave the course with a better understanding of how to assess and develop creative and curious thought in their students, improve classroom culture through use of innovative strategies, develop an expertise in their own classroom to foster a creative environment, and foster the growth of curious learners to solve problems creatively.
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success by exploring and developing tools for cultivating their students’ attention and designing active learning experiences for all learners. Participants will explore creative strategies for reaching students from distractions to regaining and focusing their attention for learning. Research is based on Caitrin Blake, Neil Bradbury and Jaren Cooney Horvath, among others. Foundational work in this course will include the research on understanding distraction, strategies to decrease distractions, bringing students' attention within the classroom, and the different types of attention: curious, divided, structured, sustaining, mindful. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of the role that attention can play in student learning along with new tools, strategies and techniques for cultivating students’ attention along with a state-of-the-art approach in learning to meet their educational goals.
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the growth of a positive relationship with the most challenging of parents in a variety of school settings. Participants will focus on effective parent communication and engagement for K-12 education. Participants will explore methods to improve communication and collaboration that will focus on parent engagement and, in turn, will create a positive learning environment for every student. Emphasis is on exploring and learning ways to connect with parents and families. Participants will synthesize paradigms and leave the course with a better understanding of developing parent communication techniques leading towards sharing responsibility to help children learn and meet their educational goals.
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.
Course #: SPC16120
Categories:

Instructional Strategies

Format:

Online Self-Paced

View Course