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.

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.
Course #: IMS22519
Dates: 07/25/22 - 08/21/22
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management 21st-Century Teaching

Format:

Interactive

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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 #: ILS22002
Dates: 05/31/22 - 06/10/22
Location: Libertyville Civic Center
Categories:

Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Site Based

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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.
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

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This course is designed to help K-12 educators provide equitable access to a high-quality educational experience for English learners (ELs), students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and students with 504 plans. Educators will discover how to design meaningful and rigorous lessons, implement academic and behavioral accommodations and modifications, and select appropriate assessments that gauge student learning and steer instructional practices. Educators will also focus on facilitating an environment in which diversity is valued and the social and emotional needs of students are nurtured - in both the traditional (physical) and virtual classroom settings. Finally, forming effective partnerships between schools, families, and community organizations in order to maximize the potential of ELs and students with special needs will be highlighted.
Course #: GMS22510
Dates: 07/18/22 - 08/14/22
Categories:

Equity & Diversity Instructional Strategies

Format:

Online Structured

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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.
Course #: GMS22513
Dates: 08/01/22 - 08/28/22
Categories:

Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Online Structured

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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. 
Course #: ILS22000
Dates: 06/20/22 - 06/24/22
Location: Libertyville Civic Center
Categories:

Equity & Diversity 21st-Century Teaching

Format:

Site Based

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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 #: IMS22505
Dates: 07/11/22 - 07/24/22
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

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This course is designed to provide educators with an in-depth understanding of how to foster the cognitive development of today’s children in PreK-2nd grades. From a focus on innovative tools and resources for teaching science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) to incorporating a multi-sensory approach to learning early literacy skills – teachers will discover valuable research-based instructional and assessment practices designed to help all students maximize their learning potential in both virtual and in-person classrooms. This course also includes an emphasis on the roles healthy lifestyles, social and emotional learning (SEL), family engagement, and the great outdoors play in building strong cognitive foundations for student success in school and beyond.
Course #: IMS22509
Dates: 07/25/22 - 08/21/22
Categories:

Early Childhood Education Instructional Strategies Content-Area Teaching

Format:

Interactive

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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 #: IMS22507
Dates: 07/11/22 - 07/24/22
Categories:

Positive Classroom Management Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

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Participants in this course will examine methodologies to facilitate the development of a culturally relevant classroom centered around research of Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Django Paris, and H. Samy Alim, among others. Participants will reflect on their own teaching practices and explore strategies and frameworks that incorporate a student’s and school community’s cultural heritage and experiences; fostering a much more wholistic educational experience for all children. The foundations of culturally responsive teaching will be researched. Strategies for helping students, teachers, and parents understand what culturally relevant teaching is and how it is effectively implemented will be explored. Participants will learn how to create a culturally welcoming classroom, development and implement strategies for fostering relationships between different cultures in one’s classroom, and how to help students understand differences between cultures in a respectful manner. Additional topics include culturally responsive classroom management and discipline, including students with special needs in the culturally responsive classroom, and connecting parents/home to the culturally relevant classroom.
Course #: IMS22500
Dates: 06/06/22 - 06/19/22
Categories:

Equity & Diversity Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Interactive

View Course
This course is designed to help K-12 educators provide equitable access to a high-quality educational experience for English learners (ELs), students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and students with 504 plans. Educators will discover how to design meaningful and rigorous lessons, implement academic and behavioral accommodations and modifications, and select appropriate assessments that gauge student learning and steer instructional practices. Educators will also focus on facilitating an environment in which diversity is valued and the social and emotional needs of students are nurtured - in both the traditional (physical) and virtual classroom settings. Finally, forming effective partnerships between schools, families, and community organizations in order to maximize the potential of ELs and students with special needs will be highlighted.
Course #: IMS22502
Dates: 06/06/22 - 06/19/22
Categories:

Equity & Diversity Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

View Course
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.
Course #: IMS22504
Dates: 07/11/22 - 07/24/22
Categories:

Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Interactive

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In our ever-changing world, a consistent focus on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) can enhance teaching and learning while supporting the overall well-being of students and educators in the classroom – both in the traditional brick and mortar and in virtual settings. In this course, educators will recognize the evolving role of SEL in 21st century classrooms by exploring research-based strategies, assessment methods, and resources focused on empowering students with essential life skills. Educators will also discover the powerful influence SEL can have in their own professional and personal lives.
Course #: IMS22506
Dates: 07/11/22 - 07/24/22
Categories:

Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management 21st-Century Teaching

Format:

Interactive

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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.
Course #: IMS22508
Dates: 07/25/22 - 08/21/22
Categories:

21st-Century Teaching Instructional Strategies

Format:

Interactive

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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 #: IMS22501
Dates: 06/06/22 - 06/19/22
Categories:

Equity & Diversity 21st-Century 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 #: IMS22503
Dates: 06/06/22 - 06/19/22
Categories:

Social & Emotional Learning Positive Classroom Management

Format:

Interactive

View Course