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Last Updated: 03/18/2018

Professional Development - More Info

Using a Discipline System to Promote Learning - On returning to the classroom after 24 years, Marvin Marshall struggled to maintain discipline. In Part 1 of this article, he describes how his frustration led him to develop a system -- incorporating the ideas and strategies of Stephen Covey, William Glasser, Abraham Maslow, and others -- that would promote responsible behavior by internally motivating students. In Part 2, Kerry Weisner describes the positive changes in her students' behavior and learning after she implemented Mr. Marshall's program in her classroom.


Help! They Don't Speak English Starter Kit for Primary Teachers - A free, downloadable resource guide for educators of limited English proficient students, grades Pre-K - 6. The first Help! They Don't Speak English Starter Kit was produced in 1989 by a task force of Virginia migrant educators who were getting an increasing number of requests from classroom teachers for information about and assistance with their limited English proficient (LEP) students. The Help! Kit has proved to be an excellent resource for teachers who are seeking ideas for recommended teaching strategies, lesson plans, and materials.

Getting to Know Your Classmates with Special Needs by Mary Ellen Leahy, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute - The primary objective of this unit is to sensitize both students and teachers to special education students and their needs and their rights. Many regular education students and teachers have had limited contact with special education students.

Overcoming the Lack of Motivation for Learning - Teachers say that the most frustrating aspect of dealing with students is "lack of motivation for learning." In this article from KAPPAN magazine (March 2004), the authors describe the Paideia Coached Project, an approach that more and more schools are adopting in an effort to combat this pervasive problem. "When students know that their project or performance will be presented to an audience outside the classroom, they are inspired to produce work of the highest quality." [Source: PEN]

Words That Hurt. Words That Heal: How Adult Morale Affects Student Achievement - A teacher's words can make a parent's day and vice versa. My daughter called excitedly the other day when her first child brought his first report card home. No, It wasn't all A's but it did carry a sentence from the teacher that made all the difference: "Your child is a wonderful boy."


Teacher Feature: A Remarkable Program For At-Risk, Middle Level Students  - There are textbooks, workbooks, manuals, manipulative devices, and gadgets of all sorts designed to remediate communication disorders. While the publishers claim many of these to be appropriate for junior high school, the fact is that there is a complete and utter void of remedial material appropriate for junior high school or secondary school. However, from my perspective, I am not so much concerned with the absence of remedial material as I am with the absence of a satisfactory rationale under which remedial techniques may be applied.


A Pernicious Silence: Confronting Race in the Elementary Classroom - Communities of silence cannot be moral communities. And the most pernicious and pervasive silence in primary school classrooms is the silence surrounding the subject of race. Lillian Polite and Elizabeth Baird Saenger maintain that it is much healthier for everyone when race can be freely discussed, and they offer suggestions to help teachers overcome their discomfort.


Teacher Tips: Internet Resources for Teachers - "We have discovered the vastness of the resources available to teachers on the internet. Following are a variety of resources that are most helpful to teachers. Print our list and visit sites that are of interest to see what they have to offer. Our resource links have been grouped according to subject matter."

Online Mentoring Program for Mathematics and Science Teachers: Southwest Consortium for the Improvement of Mathematics and Science Teaching - Since 1992 the Eisenhower Southwest Consortium for the Improvement of Mathematics and Science Teaching (SCIMAST) has supported meaningful reform of science and mathematics education in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.


The JASON Academy: Accredited Online Science and Math Courses - The JASON Academy is an innovative approach to professional development for busy teachers who want to take content-rich, continuing education science or mathematics courses anytime, anywhere via the Internet. The JASON Academy enhances teachers' science content background and provides them with the tools to help students learn more effectively. JASON Academy courses have no text materials, but instead use hotlinked references and provide numerous classroom applications with demonstrations and hands-on activities. Through JASON Academy courses, teachers are discovering new possibilities for bringing standards-based instruction into their classrooms. Next Session Begins October 4, 2004. Register now. Space is limited!


Discovery Channel's Free Online Teacher/Educator Clipart Gallery - Discovery School now makes it easy to add graphics to your next project, whether it's for home or school. Choose from hundreds of original clip art pieces, including animations!


At Web English Teacher "educators can take advantage of online technology to share ideas and to benefit from the work of others. Beginning teachers can find guidance; experienced teachers can find inspiration. Think of it as the faculty library and faculty workroom on a global scale. Because the most important part of teaching isn't the technology."


Sites For Teachers: "The Net's Best resource for Teachers" includes teaching resources, clipart, plus insect, dinosaur, ocean, and animal units.

We Get What We Get: The Bottom Line On Parent Accountability - The following is a somewhat blunt, but quite definitive answer to the questions so often asked by frustrated teachers: What should be the parent's level of accountability in their children's education? ~ What do classroom teachers have the right to require and/or expect from parents in the way of cooperation, involvement and participation in their child's learning? If the parents won't see that they get their assignments done and won't come to conferences, what can I do?


Red & Green Choices - Find 19 Free Printable Charts to Help You Help Children Model Appropriate Behavior. Developed by an intervention resource room instructor working in an inclusionary model school, the "Red and Green Choices" positive behavioral development strategies, work for a wide age range. "Cindy T's Circle Time" is directed to younger students - a full color picture book for teachers to use during class time. "Niki's Next Grade" is a chapter-book story told by Niki who wants to make a "green next grade plan" with no help from adults this time! Powerful and motivating for adults and children!


MI CLiMB - Clarifying Language in Michigan Benchmarks - A Resource Developed by Teachers for the Michigan Department of Education. Provides clarifications, resources, instructional and assessment examples for five content areas: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts. To view the Michigan Benchmarks, click here (PDF).


The Knowledge Loom Web Site: A Great Tool for the Teaching Community! Interested in best practices in areas such as literacy, equity, technology, middle school math, school organization, and community involvement? The Knowledge Loom Web site highlights these areas and more while providing a forum for educators to:
* Review research on best practices;
* Read stories about practices used in schools and districts around the nation;
* Learn to replicate successful practices in your school;
* Participate in online events and discussions; and
* Explore supporting organizations and resources.
A bonus perk: Professional development facilitators can download a companion guidebook that contains ideas and tools for using the content on the Knowledge Loom for professional learning.

Parker J. Palmer: Honor the Human Heart - Parker J. Palmer is a writer, teacher, and activist who works independently on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality, and social change. In this interview with the Journal of Staff Development, Palmer discusses his seminal work "The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life" (1997) and the responsibility schools have to nurture those who work in them.


Guide to E-Learning 2003 - US News & World Report's guide includes a searchable directory of distance learning courses, certificates, and degrees, as well as articles on current trends in online education.


Teachers Who "Work the Room" - The most basic factor that governs the likelihood of students goofing off in your classroom is their physical distance from your body.  Classroom management guru Fred Jones shares his ideas on ways to arrange your classroom and "work the crowd" to create more time on task and cut down on "goofing off." "Natural teachers instinctively work the crowd," Jones writes. "They use proximity as an instrument of management. They know that either you work the crowd, or the crowd works you."

GA New Web Site to Offer Disability Sensitivity Training - A new web site is now available to provide Disability Sensitivity Training.


Molding Effective Teachers - Psychologists' research is shedding light on the ingredients of quality teaching.


The Creative Classroom - American School Board Journal: Maybe schools can't teach kids to be creative, but they can provide an atmosphere that allows creativity to flourish. [source]


Teachers: How to Start a Lesson Plan - What do you do if a district does not have a curriculum guide for your grade level or subject? How do you write a lesson plan? What are the steps in creating a good assignment? [source]

The Heart of a Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching


bridges4kids Exclusive: Conversation Guide Now Available! - Positive communication is the single most important key to developing a partnership between families and professionals. This is so because communication lies at the heart of all other forms of partnership.


bridges4kids Exclusive: Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Module Now Available! - Written by Tricia & Calvin Luker, this 23-page module (pdf version) has been given to us to distribute to parents, parent groups, and professionals - at no cost.


Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc. - For more than 20 years, the Crisis Prevention Institute has supported the work of professionals who work with challenging or potentially violent individuals by providing a relevant, practical behavior management program. Itís called the Nonviolent Crisis Interventionģ training program and more than 4.5 million professionals have participated in this program to learn how to resolve conflict at the earliest possible stage.


Check out your teacher's certification status with Michigan's Teacher Certification Lookup tool - click here.


Scripps Educational Services has been providing quality home-study courses for Continuing Education credit since 1985. We currently offer over 80 courses in five major health care fields. As a health care professional, you may have already received our course information in the mail. Perhaps you've even purchased courses from us before.  Now, you can browse our extensive selection of CE courses online!


Michigan Teacher Network - "Michigan Teacher Network supports Michigan educators in the successful use of technology by providing easy access to information and materials that have been carefully evaluated for quality, relevance, and effectiveness."

Voice of Experience: What Iíve Learned About Cultivating Parent Involvement - Educator Max Fischer has found that successful teaching often hinges on employing a wide variety of instructional methods to meet student needs. In this Voice of Experience essay, Fischer reflects on how getting parents involved in their studentsí education also requires a variety of approaches. Included: Eight things Fischer has learned about working with parents!

Sample Curriculum and Plans for Education (SCoPE) Site - The Sample Curriculum and Plans for Education (SCoPE) Site offers practical classroom support to all Michigan education professionals. The site is unlike any other teacher resource now available on the Internet.

Michigan SB-CEU Master Listing System - Michigan's Office of Professional Preparation Services provides this online listing of board-approved, professional development courses. Browse course offerings by category, month, or sponsor. For more details, visit


GA New Web Site to Offer Disability Sensitivity Training - A new web site is now available to provide Disability Sensitivity Training to the citizens of Georgia.


Michigan Virtual University (MVU) offers a variety of online professional development opportunities. For more details, visit


publication coverPut Reading First
The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read

This 64-page booklet provides teachers with a summary of the findings of the National Reading Panel from its review of reading research. Organized by major reading topic for kindergarten through grade 3 (phonemic awareness instruction, phonics instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, and text comprehension instruction), the booklet lists the main findings from the research, suggests how the findings can be translated to practice, and answers some frequently asked questions about each topic.  Download this document -- PDF or HTML (accessible format) or order this document in print


The Power of Written Praise - A little praise can be a huge motivator for students. When one student's scores increased dramatically, his teacher, Max Fischer, sent him a congratulatory postcard with a brief note of encouragement. "No teacher has ever written a note of encouragement to my son," the student's mother said. "He's never been a good student, especially in social studies. His previous teachers seemed to concentrate on his faults. I just wanted to thank you. It means a lot to him and me." The poignancy of her comments still grips Fischer. The fact of the matter is that this particular student had never been more than a D student in social studies. But Fischer has always had a philosophy of building up students with praise -- when warranted. The dramatic improvement, albeit not earth-shattering by many standards, indicated to Fischer that this young man could achieve at a higher level and was making a serious attempt to do so. Written notes of praise are designed to applaud and motivate students. Read Max Fischer's reflections about the power of written praise to raise student achievement. Included: Six reasons to put praise for students in writing. [from PEN]


A-Z Teacher Stuff
Created for teachers by a teacher--sponsored by Scholastic Teacher Store. This site was designed to help teachers find online lesson plans and resources more quickly and easily. Online since 1997, the site has grown to more than 1000 pages! It includes lesson plans organized by popular themes, a large collection of printables, tips from teachers, and articles.

AZ Software Aids Special Ed Teachers - Program created by Mesa district to cut paperwork. is a non-commercial website dedicated to enhancing the lives and spirit of teachers and children by disseminating information to help educators meet the needs and challenges of the thousands of new teachers who enter the profession each year, and by providing funding for supplies, training, and "First Day of School" celebrations.


New Copyright Exemptions for Distance Educators: The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act - click here for more info.


THIRTEEN NEW LEARNING RESOURCES in the arts, science, & social studies have been added to FREE.  The Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) website makes it easy for teachers, parents, students, & others to find learning resources from more than 40 federal organizations.


Troops-to-Teachers provides Referral Assistance and Placement services to military personnel interested in beginning a second career in public education as a teacher. The Michigan Troops-to-Teachers office will help applicants identify teacher certification requirements, programs leading to certification and employment opportunities. Click here to read more.


Bush Plans to Boost Teacher Loan Relief - President Bush wants to more than triple the aid offered to college graduates who agree to teach math, science and special education classes in poor schools, enough for many to wipe out their federal student loans.


Teaching Students Their Job - Schools Often Overlook the Need to Put Study Skills in the Curriculum.


National Clearinghouse on Careers and Professions Related to Early Intervention and Education for Children with Disabilities - The National Clearinghouse for Professions in Special Education (NCPSE) is committed to enhancing the nation's capacity to recruit, prepare, and retain well qualified diverse educators and related service personnel for children with disabilities.


The Eclectic Teacher:  Writing on Demand - As Necessary As Process Writing


The Grace of Great Things: Reclaiming the Sacred in Knowing, Teaching, and Learning


Honoring the Teacher's Heart - I am the son of two recently retired New York City Board of Education public school teachers. Combined, they racked up sixty-five years of service.


Rhode Island may offer teachers alternate route to classrooms - Who is best equipped to teach -- the dedicated outsider or the trained professional? [source]


Best Discipline is Good Curriculum - Teachers consistently report trying almost anything to gets students to behave. This article concludes that running a classroom can be easier when both students and teachers care about what's being taught.


Voice of Experience - At the start of the school year, survey students so they learn which intelligences they favor - includes links to additional resources [source]


The Responsive Classroom: A Practical Approach for Teaching Children to Care


Find your profession:  Information regarding the MADSP (Michigan Alliance of Direct Support Professionals can be found at and


Evoking the Spirit in Public Education - When we bring forth the spirituality of teaching and learning, we help students honor life's most meaningful questions.


Who Is and Isn't Qualified to Teach? - Experts Disagree on What Makes Good Teachers: Specialized Knowledge, Personal Qualities or Training


MI Press Release: State Board of Education Adopts Substantive Policies for Early Childhood Literacy, Elevating Educational Leadership


Attention Teachers: Today's Back-to-School Special - 20 strategies to get your classroom off to a great start this school year.


Classroom Management Tips & Articles


Barnes & Noble University Online - B&N University offers more than 50 courses every month on a wide variety of subjects -- from poetry to finance to programming. Our courses are designed to provide you with in-depth learning and are all taught by authors and experts! So join our online learning program today -- itís fun, itís easy, and itís FREE!


Can Teacher Education Close the Achievement Gap? - The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia claimed the lives of over 3,000 people. But every day of the school year, on average, this same number drop out of high school and very few take notice. Americaís greatest crisis is a silent one.


Voice of Experience: Learn why teacher Janice Robertson looks forward to integrating special-needs students into her classroom lessons. [source]


Instructional Strategies - This topic explores strategies educators can use to teach content and skills to students.

MIRS 8/5/02 - Engler Highlights E-Government Effort with Online Curriculum Support for Teachers 

Read the Education World article "Thematic "Hot lists" Add Interest and Save Time" - Online resources for more than 25 popular curriculum topics!

Teachers step out - Roseville Union instructors working as interns hope to bring back new insights and skills to the classroom.

$2 MILLION PROGRAM DESIGNED TO EQUIP INNER-CITY TEACHERS - As part of their commitment to improving student achievement and increasing teacher retention in nine elementary schools, the Osborne Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to the Public Education Foundation (PEF), a local education fund, to implement a master's degree program for urban educators. Designed to allow teachers to earn a master's degree at no individual costs, the Osborne Fellows Project will support and help to improve student achievement and increase teacher effectiveness through continuing education. The goals of the program are to educate teachers on how to enhance student learning within urban schools and communities, and to ensure that all students are reading at or above grade level.  These over-arching goals are interwoven throughout a cohort-based program, crosscutting issues such as literacy instruction, educational technology, classroom management, and instructional strategies for urban learners. Specifically designed for the urban educator, teachers will attend classes such as Socio-Cultural Context of Urban Education; Classroom Management & Instructional Techniques; Assessment, Action Research, & Evaluation; and Problem-Based Field Practicum.

Classroom Management Tips & Articles from Education World Online (BELOW)

School "Rules"! Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules
Starting the school year on the right foot includes establishing classroom rules that will last the whole year through. Many teachers involve students in establishing their classroom rules. (Surprisingly, student-created rules are often much the same as -- or even tougher than -- rules a teacher might create. After all, students want to attend school in a safe environment, and they want to know the boundaries when it comes to classroom behavior.)

Classroom Management: Ten Teacher-Tested Tips!
Hallway conferences, pasta discipline, buddy rooms, bell work: Those and six other ideas for taming temper tantrums and other classroom disruptions are the focus of this Education World story. Included: An opportunity for all teachers to share the classroom-management techniques that work for them!

Creating a Climate for Learning: Effective Classroom Management Techniques
In Positive Classroom Discipline, Fred Jones states, "The most widespread management technique at home and in the classroom is nag, nag, nag." It's also probably the least effective. Learn how to stop nagging and start teaching. Included: 12 teacher-tested tips for behavior management!

Do Seating Arrangements and Assignments = Classroom Management?
Now might be a good time to take a long look at your classroom seating arrangement. Advice and opinions about classroom arrangements and seating assignments abound, and Education World explores the possibilities! Included: Tips from Fred Jones on how to get the most out of classroom arrangements.

Let's Cooperate! -- Teachers Share Tips for Cooperative Learning
Cooperation starts at the top! Teachers who use cooperative learning in their classrooms have developed techniques that make the most of this method, and they share them. Ideas that range from forming groups to using rubrics will make any lesson of a cooperative nature a little more fun! Included: Teacher tips, a rubric for grading students' cooperative efforts, and additional online resources!

The Secret's in the Little Things: Simple Tips for Successful Teachers
Here they are -- 12 quick tips to help make managing your classroom a breeze! Included are tips for getting to know your students, communicating with parents, getting your day of to a good start, and much more!

Beat the Clock! -- Lessons in Time Management for Middle Graders
Is time management an issue for your students? Do their busy schedules and social lives prevent them from completing homework assignments? Now a free resource can help students learn to "beat the clock"! Included: Sample activities for teaching time management!

When It Comes to Volatile Kids, Pick Your Battles
Dr. Ross W. Greene, a psychologist who works with easily frustrated children and their parents and the author of The Explosive Child, advises parents and teachers that identifying the causes of a child's frustration and working with the youngster to develop coping skills can lead to fewer explosions and more compliance. Included: Strategies for working with explosive children in the classroom.


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