Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Johnston Teacher's Softchalk Lesson Chosen as Lesson of the Week

Congratulations to Jessica Dowell, high school Social Studies teacher from Johnston High School whose Softchalk lesson " Decolonization Around the World: Africa" was chosen as Softchalk's Lesson of the Week.  In this lesson, students explore what is meant by the term "decolonization", the affects of decolonization in Africa, and the challenges that African countries experience after their European colonizers left.  Jessica learned bow to use Softchalk and best practices about lesson design in the Blending/Flipping Your Classroom Cohort.

Each week Softchalk selects a stand out, top notch, lesson from SoftChalk Share and features it across their social media platforms. SoftChalk Share is an Open Education Resource (OER), learning object repository with thousands of free learning materials created by educators.

Softchalk is available at not cost to Iowa teachers teaching in the State of Iowa. If you are interested in learning more about this tool and getting access to it, contact us via email: Evan Abbey, Denise Krefting or Melissa Wicklund.

You can learn more about using Softchalk and blending your classroom in our Blending/Flipping Your Classroom cohort professional development.  Learn more about this professional development at

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Professional Development: Blending Flipping Your Classroom Cohort

Several Blending Flipping Your Classroom cohorts will be available for teachers this summer in Great Prairie AEA, Green Hills AEA  and Heartland AEA.  Course 1 "Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1: Introduction" the start of the four course series will begin in June in Great Prairie at Van Buren CSD, July at Heartland and August in Green Hills.

These cohorts consist of 4 courses that teachers and administrators can take through out a 1 1/2 year period.   Credit is available at a significantly reduced rate.

  • The first course (Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1- Introduction is a three day face-to-face training on "Blending/Flipping your classroom 1" for one license renewal credit.  There is a secondary and an elementary version
  • The second course is a fully online course "Blending/Flipping 2- Blended Instruction" as well as an elementary option for two credits (license renewal and graduate) which is available to those who have completed the first course. 
  • The third in the series is "Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 3: Designing Online Lessons" which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online for those who have completed the first two courses. This course is also two credits (license renewal and graduate).  
  •  Finally the fourth in this series is "Blending/Flipping 4: Activities and Assessment "which will take place as a blended model with two days face-to-face and the rest online and is also 2 credits (license renewal and graduate) for those who have taken the three other courses.  

The last three courses in the series (six credits) can also be applied to the Drake Online Teacher certification for those that are interested.  Learn more about the cohort here.

If you are interested in signing up or finding out more about the first course in the series offered at
Great Prairie AEA @ Van Buren June 2018 click here.
Heartland AEA July 2018 click here
Heartland AEA Elementary Version July 2018 click here
Green Hills AEA August 2018 click here.

As other AEAs develop their summer schedule, their cohort courses will be added.  Please note that several school districts are also offering the cohort as part of their professional development.  Find out more by contacting Denise Krefting or Melissa Wicklund.