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.

Participants in this course will take an in-depth look at the research by Angela Duckworth and how “grit” is clearly correlated to student success in the classroom and beyond. Participants will learn about grit and how it differs from resilience. Numerous grit strategies, classroom management practices, and strategic lesson planning development will be explored, discussed, and developed so that the participant will have a working knowledge of how to embed grit into their classroom culture at the conclusion of the course. Participants will learn how grit strategies can increase achievement and improve wellbeing, thus changing their students’ development trajectory when faced with a problem or difficult task. Additional topics include how grit is related to talent. What is productive struggle? What does a gritty student look like? How to effectively educate parents on bringing grit elements into their children’s lives at home will be explored. The course will allow participants to dive into grit research and learn about online web resources to support their gritty classroom during the school year and develop grit-infused lessons. It will conclude with participants developing an implementation plan or presentation to demonstrate knowledge and application of how grit frameworks/strategies impact their classroom so students can improve education performance and well-being. Throughout the course, students will participate in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed, and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the student to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
Course #: IMS24516
Dates: 07/22/24 - 08/04/24
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Content-Area Teaching

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 #: IMS24519
Dates: 07/22/24 - 08/04/24
Categories:

Equity & Diversity 21st-Century Teaching

Format:

Interactive

View Course
From looking beyond the ‘autism spectrum disorder’ label to preparing students for adulthood, this course is designed to empower educators with effective, research-based strategies to incorporate into their classrooms and professional practices. Course participants will examine nine strength-based mindsets necessary for navigating autism - as presented by Dr. Temple Grandin and psychologist Dr. Debra Moore. This course prepares educators by emphasizing strengths and assets of individuals with autism to maximize their potential inside and outside of school.
Course #: IMS24518
Dates: 07/22/24 - 08/04/24
Categories:

Equity & Diversity 21st-Century Teaching Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

View Course
To leverage our world’s ever-changing and developing depth of online resources, educators will learn how to use a variety of online websites, applications, and various other digital resources to enhance classroom instruction and support the needs of all learners through multiple learning mediums. Educators will become exposed to a variety of digital resources to foster collaboration between students, stimulate creativity, create differentiated assessments easily, and strengthen the communication pathways home to parents. Participants will gain an understanding of internet resources that can aid in audio/video recording, interactive whiteboards, brainstorming, mind-mapping, project management, portfolios, creation of quizzes-polls-surveys, study-guides/flashcards, flipped classroom tools and screencasting, online formative assessments, eBooks, and social media as a vehicle for communication with students and parents, as well as other communication applications. Participants will leave the course with tools to maximize the learning environment through technology engagement and inspire creativity in their students.
Course #: IMS24517
Dates: 07/22/24 - 08/04/24
Categories:

Technology Tools for the Classroom Content-Area Teaching

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Poverty, suicide, abuse, divorce, and community violence are some of the many traumatic, yet common, life experiences and events students of today’s society face. In addition, factors including social media and high stakes testing have been linked to the increasing rates of stress and anxiety among youth. This insightful course provides practical applications on how to understand, connect with, and accommodate students and their families experiencing the adverse effects of trauma, stress, and anxiety. Participants will research the short and long-term outcomes associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), learn how to incorporate effective trauma-informed practices, and build relationships with students and their families based on respect, trust, and empathy. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress management, suicide prevention awareness, students living in poverty, and educational procedures used to respond to traumatic events are additional topics accentuated in this course. Finally, educators will focus on their own well-being and discover ways to strengthen resilience and manage stress and anxiety associated with the soaring demands of the profession. Course participants will become better equipped to effectively respond to students’ complex needs.
Course #: IMS24535
Dates: 08/05/24 - 08/18/24
Categories:

Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the development of a mathematical mindset centered around the research of Dr. Carol Dweck’s mindset theory, Dr. Jo Boaler’s classroom approach, and Dr. Susan Johnston-Wilder’s international research in math anxiety components. Participants will reflect on their own teaching practices and explore strategies and frameworks that incorporate a student’s mathematical experience and evolution. The foundations of developing a mathematical mindset will be researched. Strategies for helping students, teachers, and parents understand what a mathematical mindset is and how it is effectively implemented by reducing math anxiety will be explored. Participants will learn how to create a welcoming, yet challenging mathematic classroom experience, implement strategies/best-practices to foster a mathematical mindset for their students. Participants will learn that math stress/anxiety reducing strategies in one’s classroom and helping students understand their anxieties can improve their internal motivation. Additional topics in the course are effective lesson planning to combat math anxiety to grow mathematical mindsets, explore online/digital resources to support mathematic classroom needs, including students with special needs, and making meaningful connections with parents to strength and preserve the mathematical mindset at home.
Course #: IMF24006
Dates: 09/16/24 - 10/13/24
Categories:

Instructional Strategies Content-Area Teaching Mathematics

Format:

Interactive

View Course
The research is clear - phonics is a critical component of effectively teaching students how to read and write. This course is designed to give participants a deep understanding of the key characteristics of, and the essential steps involved with phonics instruction. Course participants will be prepared to put the elements of effective literacy instruction - including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension - into practice to help students across grade levels develop and strengthen their literacy skills. Throughout the course, participants will engage in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the participant to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
Course #: IMF24007
Dates: 09/16/24 - 10/13/24
Categories:

Content-Area Teaching English Language Arts General Education

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Participants in this course will examine foundational elements that make up student anxiety. Participants will learn about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in students at various grade levels, maturities, and cultures. Anxiety-reducing strategies and frameworks will be centered around the research of Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D., and Tom Thelen (founder of Resetschools.org). Participants will explore research studies on the causes of anxiety, learn how it impacts students’ learning and classroom interactions, and how teaching style and classroom structures can increase or decrease anxiety. This knowledge will aid in applying strategies and practices/frameworks to identify, minimize, and address a variety of anxiety factors and disorders. Additional topics include effective lesson planning to combat anxiety, explore online/digital resources to support classroom needs, including students with special needs, and connecting parents/homes to strengthening the support system to reduce anxiety. The course will conclude with participants developing an implementation plan or presentation to demonstrate knowledge and application of how anxiety impacts their classroom so they can improve student wellbeing and performance. Throughout the course, participants will engage in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the participant to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
Course #: IMF24008
Dates: 10/07/24 - 11/03/24
Categories:

Equity & Diversity Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success for today’s learners, known as the “Swipe Generation.” and how Swipe technology shapes emerging learning styles. This generation needs to rely heavily on technology skills to enhance their learning by developing problem-solving strategies and also reflect on their thinking and learning process. Participants will explore ways to enhance student performance by implementing a series of strategies to meet the unique needs of every learner in the classroom. These learning strategies can be applied, but first, students must become interested in and find the content worthy of their attention, which requires sustained mental effort, commitment, and engagement that can support the success of every learner. Foundational work in this course will include research on understanding effective practices, student learning strategies, and classroom outcomes that utilize technology and higher-level thinking skills. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of educators’ role in the classroom, along with new tools, strategies, and techniques for cultivating students’ learning and a state-of-the-art teaching approach to meet their educational goals. Throughout the course, students will participate in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed, and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the student to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
Course #: IMF24009
Dates: 10/14/24 - 11/10/24
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Technology Tools for the Classroom Content-Area Teaching

Format:

Interactive

View Course
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.
Course #: IMF24010
Dates: 10/21/24 - 11/17/24
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management 21st-Century Teaching Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success by exploring and developing tools to increase K-12 students’ soft skills (communication, work ethic, leadership, personal responsibility, and listening.) They will recognize and prioritize their students’ soft skills that will be valuable in reaching future goals, remaining optimistic, and dealing with conflict in their schooling. Participants will explore a series of strategies for reaching and helping students learn appropriate behaviors, strategies for the future, and ways to help prepare them for college and career readiness. Research is based on the works of Robert W. Gaines, II, Ph.D., Meca B. Mohammed, Ph.D., Cheryl Talley, Ph.D., and Marcheta Evans, Ph.D., among others. Foundational work in this course will include the research on understanding soft skills, strategies to develop soft skills, bringing students' soft skills to reach within the classroom, and the different types of soft skills: communication, work ethic, leadership, personal responsibility, and listening. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of the role that soft skills can play in student learning, along with new tools and techniques for cultivating students’ soft skills.
Course #: IMF24011
Dates: 11/04/24 - 12/08/24
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Content-Area Teaching

Format:

Interactive

View Course
Participants in this course will take an in-depth look at the research by Angela Duckworth and how “grit” is clearly correlated to student success in the classroom and beyond. Participants will learn about grit and how it differs from resilience. Numerous grit strategies, classroom management practices, and strategic lesson planning development will be explored, discussed, and developed so that the participant will have a working knowledge of how to embed grit into their classroom culture at the conclusion of the course. Participants will learn how grit strategies can increase achievement and improve wellbeing, thus changing their students’ development trajectory when faced with a problem or difficult task. Additional topics include how grit is related to talent. What is productive struggle? What does a gritty student look like? How to effectively educate parents on bringing grit elements into their children’s lives at home will be explored. The course will allow participants to dive into grit research and learn about online web resources to support their gritty classroom during the school year and develop grit-infused lessons. It will conclude with participants developing an implementation plan or presentation to demonstrate knowledge and application of how grit frameworks/strategies impact their classroom so students can improve education performance and well-being. Throughout the course, students will participate in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed, and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the student to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
Course #: IMF24012
Dates: 11/11/24 - 12/15/24
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Content-Area 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.
Today’s schools are richer in diversity than ever before. This course is designed to provide educators with the resources, tools, and steps necessary to foster a welcoming, safe, and productive learning environment built on respect for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) for all students. Course participants will examine the implications of historical inequities on personal beliefs and practices, as well as modern day school policies and procedures. Educators will be challenged to look at their professional practices and curriculum materials from new perspectives and will be empowered with resources and strategies necessary to advance DEIB initiatives in their classrooms and schools. Throughout the course, participants will engage in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the participant to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
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.
Educators today are tasked with improving student learning. This course equips educators in K-12 classrooms to do so. Participants in this course will examine many methodologies of different brain researched-based frameworks to help educators improve student learning and educate parents on their child’s learning strengths and weaknesses. Participants will gain knowledge of how the brain works and how educators can use brain-based strategies to improve memory and retrieval of information. The course will center around the research of Dr. Judy Willis, Dr. Eric Jensen, and others on understanding brain processes that can help educators rethink how they engage students in their own learning. Additional topics include developing lesson plans and activities with brain-based research in mind, critical thinking methodologies, teaching students to self-reflect on their own learning process and how they learn, looking at how social and emotional learning impacts learning, the impact learning styles have on thinking strategies, developing assessments built around brain-based learning principles, and connecting parents/home to brain-based learning to aid in their child’s cognitive development at home.
Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success for today’s learners, known as the “Swipe Generation.” and how Swipe technology shapes emerging learning styles. This generation needs to rely heavily on technology skills to enhance their learning by developing problem-solving strategies and also reflect on their thinking and learning process. Participants will explore ways to enhance student performance by implementing a series of strategies to meet the unique needs of every learner in the classroom. These learning strategies can be applied, but first, students must become interested in and find the content worthy of their attention, which requires sustained mental effort, commitment, and engagement that can support the success of every learner. Foundational work in this course will include research on understanding effective practices, student learning strategies, and classroom outcomes that utilize technology and higher-level thinking skills. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of educators’ role in the classroom, along with new tools, strategies, and techniques for cultivating students’ learning and a state-of-the-art teaching approach to meet their educational goals. Throughout the course, students will participate in interactive dialogue through a variety of mediums to receive valuable feedback to reflect on from their instructor. All formative and summative projects are reviewed, and graded, and feedback from the instructor will be provided allowing the student to enhance their portfolio of educational tools/resources to impact their classroom or school community.
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.
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.
Poverty, suicide, abuse, divorce, and community violence are some of the many traumatic, yet common, life experiences and events students of today’s society face. In addition, factors including social media and high stakes testing have been linked to the increasing rates of stress and anxiety among youth. This insightful course provides practical applications on how to understand, connect with, and accommodate students and their families experiencing the adverse effects of trauma, stress, and anxiety. Participants will research the short and long-term outcomes associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), learn how to incorporate effective trauma-informed practices, and build relationships with students and their families based on respect, trust, and empathy. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress management, suicide prevention awareness, students living in poverty, and educational procedures used to respond to traumatic events are additional topics accentuated in this course. Finally, educators will focus on their own well-being and discover ways to strengthen resilience and manage stress and anxiety associated with the soaring demands of the profession. Course participants will become better equipped to effectively respond to students’ complex needs.