Skip course categories

Skip available courses

Available courses

The number of children with Autism continues to rise. This course will examine trends in identification, but more importantly, how to effectively support the diverse needs presented by children with Autism, and challenges to families. Discussions around medical and behavioral, fad and evidence based, and interventions based on strategies or analysis, will help participants better understand Autism.


At schools around the country, questions about the "problems” of boyhood keep cropping up. Why are boys more likely to drop out of school? Why are boys diagnosed with ADHD at a higher rate? Why are boys suffering scholastically compared to girls, far more likely to end up in juvenile detention facilities and prison, and far more likely to take their own lives?


Utilizing some some new theoretical constructs as well as a historical and systemic overview of masculinity, we'll discuss these pernicious aspects of boyhood and masculinity, as well as concrete approaches to overcoming the barriers and connecting with boys and young men.


Activities in this course will include discussions on gender and masculinity, the myths and realities of boyhood, a survey of contemporary and historical research, the importance of addressing the root problems creating gendered barriers, and possible interventions (both on the individual and cultural level) to create safer, more fruitful learning environments for all youth.



Educators hold in their hands the power to literally shape students' brains. New insights into how the brain functions are now allowing educators to more fully understand the mechanisms that stimulate and grow the brain and drive learning. This new understanding not only provides explanations as to why those tried and true strategies seem to work so well, but it also allows educators to capitalize on new approaches and strategies that will maximize student learning by accessing the brain's innate learning pathways. In this course, participants will take an in-depth look at 3 areas of brain-based teaching, specially selected for their positive outcomes and ease of assimilation into any classroom.

The research is clear and it’s time for educators to rethink the body-brain connection! Sure, exercise and fitness build strong bodies, but they are also crucial to building strong brains and developing better learners. Examining: Ignite the Brain: Boosting Learning through Exercise & Fitness is a 3 credit hour course in which participants will explore exercise’s power to improve student learning and grades; help fight addiction; boost mood, and reduce symptoms associated with ADHD, depression, anxiety, and stress. Whether you’re a P.E. or classroom teacher, this course is for you.

A well-oiled teacher-paraeducator machine is good for students and good for morale. But school days are jam-packed, classroom environments can vary, and student needs can change. It can seem nearly impossible to find the time to get to know our teacher/paraeducator, let alone find the time to collaborate, communicate about students, and get on the same page with scheduling, lessons, and strategies.  Still, our students count on us to find ways to get it done. Examining: Making It Work! is a 2 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor-Guided course that gives paraeducators and teachers tools and resources to help them communicate and collaborate more effectively.   Participants will learn to assess and compare work styles, preferences, and task confidence levels; develop clear classroom job descriptions; create working lists of academic and behavioral strategies and resources; identify areas of personal development; investigate a variety of collaboration and communication tools and ideas, and more! 

Students from poverty can be one of the most difficult populations to motivate and inspire. The consequences of living in poverty often result in increased transience, absenteeism, and high drop-out rates. The conditions and daily stress of living in poverty can leave students hopeless and disaffected. While engaging any student can improve academic achievement, students from poverty are some of the most vulnerable among us and engaging them will not only improve their academic achievement, but may very well change their futures. In this 3 credit hour course, participants will learn exactly how to motivate, energize and focus their students from poverty to improve engagement, cognitive skills and achievement.

Learning and implementing strategies that integrate good character into all aspects of your students’ day supports 21st Century Skills and improves students’ educational, behavioral and life-long success. This course begins with an investigation into what good character is, why it is important, and how the components of effective school-wide character programs translate into creating classrooms of virtue. Next, it looks at ways to integrate the positive character traits of a shared moral heritage into the curriculum. Finally, participants will examine the roles parents & teachers play in developing students of character and factors that can help students take command of their own moral development. Make your classroom a classroom of character.


 

The research is clear. Parental involvement is the number one predictor of student successExamining: It Takes a Village: Building School, Family & Community Partnerships is a 3 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor-Guided (SS/IG) course that looks at the ability of school, family & community partnerships to improve students' academic achievement, build necessary 21st Century Skills, and better prepare them for becoming active, productive members of our communities as adults.  The course gives participants the foundational theory and research to support these claims, a framework for implementing successful partnerships, and opportunities to develop and practice strategies that forge beneficial relationships.

How to Survive & Thrive in the Classroom is a 3 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor Guided course that builds on the 7 principles employed by master teachers presented by Robyn R. Jackson in her book Never Work Harder than Your Students. The course begins by teaching participants how to assess students’ cultural and intellectual currency to determine where they are, what they value and where they are going academically. Next, participants will investigate how to use supports and feedback to get students where they need to be.  The culminating principle, never work harder than your students, will be discovered as teachers move through the guiding tenets for making students successful.

Learning and implementing strategies that integrate good character into all aspects of your students’ day supports 21st Century Skills and improves students’ educational, behavioral and life-long success. This course begins with an investigation into what good character is, why it is important, and how the components of effective school-wide character programs translate into creating classrooms of virtue. Next, it looks at ways to integrate the positive character traits of a shared moral heritage into the curriculum. Finally, participants will examine the roles parents & teachers play in developing students of character and factors that can help students take command of their own moral development. Make your classroom a classroom of character.


 

Students from poverty can be one of the most difficult populations to motivate and inspire. The consequences of living in poverty often result in increased transience, absenteeism, and high drop-out rates. The conditions and daily stress of living in poverty can leave students hopeless and disaffected. While engaging any student can improve academic achievement, students from poverty are some of the most vulnerable among us and engaging them will not only improve their academic achievement, but may very well change their futures. In this 3 credit hour course, participants will learn exactly how to motivate, energize and focus their students from poverty to improve engagement, cognitive skills and achievement.

Examining: Poverty in Our Backyard is a 1 credit hour, Self-Study/Instructor-Guided Course (SS/IG) that examines the cumulative effects of poverty related stress on students and what educators can do about it.  As poverty continues to increase in our communities and more and more students in our classrooms come from low SES homes, it is important for educators to understand the effects poverty can have on their students and their students’ school success. Participants will first learn about stress-based factors that cause very real physiological changes in both the brains and bodies of low SES students causing them to lag behind same-age peers.  Next, participants will examine strategies, activities, and programs that provide the behavioral and cognitive supports low SES students need for success, as well as models for providing family support. Finally participants will have a chance to develop a plan for their classroom or school that  implements and/or integrates changes that will positively support low SES students and families.

Educators hold in their hands the power to literally shape students' brains. New insights into how the brain functions are now allowing educators to more fully understand the mechanisms that stimulate and grow the brain and drive learning. This new understanding not only provides explanations as to why those tried and true strategies seem to work so well, but it also allows educators to capitalize on new approaches and strategies that will maximize student learning by accessing the brain's innate learning pathways. In this course, participants will take an in-depth look at 3 areas of brain-based teaching, specially selected for their positive outcomes and ease of assimilation into any classroom.

Poverty in Our Backyard is a 1 credit hour, self-paced course that examines the cumulative effects of poverty related stress 
on students and what educators can do about it.  As poverty continues to increase in our communities and more and more students in our classrooms come from low SES homes, it is important for educators to understand the effects poverty can have 
on their students and their students’ school success. Participants will first learn about stress-based factors that cause very real physiological changes in both the brains and bodies of low SES students causing them to lag behind same-age peers.  Next, participants will examine strategies, activities, and programs that provide the behavioral and cognitive supports low SES students need for success, as well as models for providing family support. Finally participants will have a chance to develop a plan for their classroom or school that implements and/or integrates changes that will positively support low SES students and families.

Grades are tools that should reflect student achievement and support student learning. In this 2 credit hour course, participants will learn how to implement a consistent, accurate and meaningful grading system that reflects district standards and supports student learning by avoiding common pitfalls that distort outcomes.  Grading for the Benefit of the Student builds on the 15 “fixes” recommended by Ken O’Connor in his text A Repair Kit for Grading and addresses common grading errors that distort achievement, reflect low-quality/organization rather than aptitude, make incorrect calculations and reflect behavior, attendance and other extant factors.  Participants will investigate what to do with extra credit, poor attendance, late work, incomplete work, academic dishonesty, and more, in order to maintain an effective grading system that benefits students and more clearly represents academic achievement.

How do we make homework relevant and effective for all students? How do we get more students to complete homework? Should we even be assigning homework? This 2 credit hour, self-paced course will investigate these questions about homework and more. Making Homework a Win/Win! begins by investigating the theories, purposes and myths about homework, how they compare to the research and how they apply to a new culture of diverse families, students and lifestyles. Then participants will learn how to make homework an effective tool, how to differentiate assignments and how to apply alternative grading methods. Finally, participants will examine ways to increase homework completion and effectiveness by implementing student and family supports.

Educators not only teach, they mold and develop young minds. This isn’t simply a metaphor.  Research shows that brains are malleable and can be physiologically altered by a number of external factors. Educators play a much bigger role in the literal molding and development of their students’ brains than was once believed. Based on the work of veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen, this 2 credit hour course delves into practical strategies to improve student comprehension and achievement by building on the latest brain-based learning research. By learning how the brain responds to such factors as movement, emotions, feedback, social interactions, and classroom environments, educators will be able to intentionally tap into the brain’s natural reward system, improve memory retention and recall, initiate motivation, and develop critical thinking skills. Jensen’s approach bridges the gap from scientific research to real life classroom applications, emphasizing what educators can do to develop new brain-based lessons and curriculum and improve student learning.

Required Text: Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd ed. by Eric Jensen

This is 3 credit hour course based on Helping Traumatized Children Learn – A Report and Policy Agenda from the Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative.

Helping Traumatized Children Learn is the result of an extraordinary collaboration among educators, parents, mental health professionals, community groups, and attorneys determined to help children experiencing the traumatic effects of exposure to family violence succeed in school. Participants will have the opportunity to investigate the many aspects of trauma, including physical/mental health consequences, how trauma affects learning, how to help students suffering from trauma, current legislation, and numerous resources.

This is an on-line course based on Helping Students Overcome Depression and Anxiety, 2nd Ed. (2008) by Kenneth W. Merrell. The course focuses on how educators, counselors, social workers, psychologists and other behavioral/emotional support personnel in the schools can help children with anxiety and depression. Participants will learn about internalizing behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, and what techniques are best for dealing with them.

 

Research shows the cumulative effects of poverty can create very real and devastating changes to the human body and mind that in turn become barriers to academic success. Based on the book Teaching with Poverty in Mind by educator and brain expert Eric Jensen, Through Poverty’s Lens investigates what poverty is; its connection to the social/emotional development, stress levels, cognitive lag, and health/safety challenges seen in low SES students; how those challenges affect academic success, and; what communities, schools, and teachers can do to improve those students’ academic success and achievement.

Critical mass is the theory behind creating social, political, and cultural changes by reaching a certain number of individuals. The concept is based in what the collective can do together. Intersectionality is the examination of individuals who fall into "multiple identities" - being a person of color and LGBTQ, being a woman with a disability, or being a person of color who is also in a religious minority. Intersectionality can have an incredible impact on students, their families, and our schools.

This online course will take a deep look at the concepts of privilege, intersectionality, research on students who have multiple identities, and work on ideas to make your school and community a more open environment.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. In order to effectively address bullying behavior, one must first examine its underlying causes. This course analyzes the bias and power structure in groups and individuals that leads to aggressive or harassing behavior.
This course will examine the types of privileges existing in the classroom, workplace, and other environments. With privilege, both seen and unseen, comes the bias that perpetuates the imbalance of power among students, peers, administrators, and faculty. By exploring this power structure and our own bias, participants will understand root causes of bullying and develop strategies to address it.
Activities in this course will include discussions on privilege and bias, the formation of peer social groups and isolation, micro-aggression, a review of bullying behavior and creating an environment to reduce its pervasiveness, then end with critical legal information and resources for practicing educators, parents, and counselors.