Educator Resources

Educator Resources

Online Modules

Becoming an Effective Cooperating Teacher Module

Becoming an Effective Cooperating Teacher

The purpose of this module is to help prepare teachers who have agreed to become cooperating teachers for NIU teacher candidates. You will be introduced to the key characteristics of a cooperating teacher, the levels of teacher development, expectations and responsibilities of becoming a NIU cooperating teacher.

Classroom Acoustics Module

Classroom Acoustics: Importance to Successful Listening and Learning

Classroom acoustics directly affect students' ability to listen and learn. On completion of this module, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe types of acoustic barriers in the classroom
  • Explain the importance of having favorable classroom acoustics
  • Identify steps to produce favorable acoustics in the classroom
Pathogens in the Classroom Module

Pathogens in the Classroom: Chronic Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases commonly found in school children affect both learning and teaching. Learn about the diseases that can affect you and your students – transmission, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and management in the classroom.

Reader Response Module

Reader Response

The purpose of this module is to equip teachers at the elementary and middle school levels with strategies for facilitating reader response. The module covers the following response facilitators: visual aids, modeling by teacher, questioning and requesting, and feedback.

Teaching Reading Comprehension Module

Teaching Reading Comprehension: Seven Research-Based Strategies for Grades 3-8

Description: The purpose of this module is to equip teachers with research-based strategies for teaching reading comprehension to grades 3-8 students. The module covers comprehension monitoring, cooperative learning, graphic and semantic organizers, question answering, question generation and story structure.

Teaching Vocabulary Module

Vocabulary in the Content Areas

Learn how to teach vocabulary in many different subjects. This modules covers types of vocabulary and vocabulary words, instructional principles, and appealing activities to use with students.

Writing Strategies Module

Writing Strategies for K-8

Learn new ways to help K-8 students improve their writing skills. This module covers the writing process, writing in various genres, traits of good writing, and classroom techniques. Samples of student work are included.

Inquiry-Based Science Curricula Module

Inquiry-Based Science Curricula

This module provides information, examples and external resources so that high-school science teachers can incorporate inquiry-based learning into their classrooms.

Universal Design Module

Universal Design for Learning

The purpose of this module is to help teachers respond to the challenge of accommodating student's individual differences in the classroom.

You Can Help Module

You Can Help! Teachers Helping Students Feel Safe & Supported

The purpose of this module is to equip teachers with strategies they can use to create safe and supportive classroom environments.

Response to Intervention (RtI)

Response to Intervention (RtI)

The purpose of this module is to provide teachers with a richer understanding of the Response to Intervention concepts and processes.


Common Core Resources

Understanding the CCSS

Achieve the Core  
Achieve the Core provides free online resources related to the Common Core Standards.  Some of these resources include professional development modules, presentations on the CC, lessons, facilitator guides, and tools. 

The Common Core Ate My Baby and Other Urban Legends by Timothy Shanahan

In this ASCD article, myths about the CCSS are brought to light and demystified.  The article explains what the standards really entail.

Common Core State Standards Initiative

The Common Core State Standards Initiative present the CCSS in a an organized way and provides a variety of resources related to implementing the standards. 

CCSS and Educational Policy Webinar by Dr. Tim Shanahan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Hunt Institute Videos  
The Hunt Institute has produced a series of Videos related to the Common Core Standards: how and why the standards were developed, the importance of the standard components, and breakdowns by levels.

TextProject: Common Core State Standards

This site contains a wealth of articles and presentations to explain and offer ideas related to the CCSS.

Understanding Common Core State Standards, a free online book by John Kendall

John Kendall describes how the CCSS were created, solutions that were developed to address issues with the standards, how the standards are organized, key aspects, benefits and concerns, preparing to teach with the CCSS, establishing an implementation plan, and creating and gathering resources for support. 

Lessons with the CCSS

LearnZillion offers lessons, guides, related videos, and resources that are aligned to the Common Core standards.  Find lessons, setup classes for students, create assignments, etc.  Teachers can access and use the site for free.  Schools and districts can pay for premium access for diagnostic and formative assessments, as well as professional learning communities.  

Share My Lesson
Share My Lesson provides a space where educators can collaborate and share their best teaching resources. This site was developed by teachers for teachers and allows for free access to teaching resources.  The site also includes a resource bank for Common Core State Standards with resources and supports for implementing the standards into teaching and learning.

SmartSpace Lesson Plans

Creative Creatures

Get Inspired by looking at a children’s story about an imaginative creature- Where the Wild Things Are…Dr. Seuss Story.  Have students create their own creature using a drawing program.  Students can also use the craft materials provided and take pictures of their creations with a digital camera.  They can create a series of at least 5 images that tell a story about your creature in the rhyming style of Dr. Seuss. Students can work in groups to collaborate on your stories.  Google Docs can be used to accomplish this task.  If time allows, turn the story into a digital slideshow and share with peers via a social media tool. 

Mood Jars

Students will look at the work of contemporary artists Diana Lynn Thompson & Heather Holloman and will contribute to a digital collaborative sculptural installation of jars filled with objects representing daily emotions.  Students will examine their food intake and also journal emotions related to nutrition to better understand the importance of good nutrition.