- Topics of Interest
21st Century Learners in the Classroom
In today’s classroom there are students with diverse backgrounds, varied levels of achievement, and different learning styles, which affect their ability to acquire knowledge. Teachers need to move away from traditional teaching methods; they need to use new approaches to teach both content and lifelong skills.
In this course teachers are introduced to the goals and importance of 21st Century education and learning. Digital literacy skills, learning and innovation skills, and career and life skills are covered. There is discussion of ways in which the curriculum can be upgraded and of classroom strategies for 21st Century learning.
Lesson Students do not learn much just by sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. Teachers need activities and strategies that scaffold student learning towards these goals. This course helps you explore how to integrate interactive techniques into your instructional plans and delivery; learn the purpose of active learning, the value of introductions, the use of energizers, and the benefits of closing activities. The course will take participants through a number of active learning strategies for the classroom including ways to move traditional lectures to active lectures.
Become Strategic Readers
Reading is problem solving. A strategic reader reads for a purpose and uses strategies to achieve it when approaching reading, during reading, and after reading. This course will provide teachers with pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading activities to use with their students. Participants will also learn reading strategies for constructing meaning.
The brain is involved in everything students do at school. Understanding how the brain develops and basic principles related to the brain and learning is important for teachers. This course also covers how to create a rich, brain-compatible classroom environment, the use of brain-based learning strategies, and the role of emotions in teaching and learning.
Building Character in the Classroom
The 21st century school faces tremendous challenges in establishing a safe and healthy learning environment for students. Schools play an important role in equipping students with good character and life skills and in nurturing in them positive attitudes so that they will develop into caring and responsible individuals and citizens. This course presents practical ways through which character education can be incorporated as a foundational asset in classrooms and schools.
This course introduces the participants to the many genres of children's literature. Participants will also consider methods of selecting and evaluating children's books in terms of readability, interest level, and cultural sensitivity, and they will explore strategies that can be instrumental in bringing children and books together. There will be examination and discussion of what makes a book "good" and/or appropriate, the differences in the writing for various age groups, and the methods of teaching children's literature.
Children’s Rights in the Classroom
Children have both rights and responsibilities at school. Teachers need to be aware of them and adapt their teaching so as to promote them. This course covers the basic rights and responsibilities of children at school and ways to create a physical classroom environment that respects children’s rights. Other topics are: classroom management techniques and teaching methods that promote children’s rights and teaching children about their rights.
Classroom Assessment in the 21st Century
21st Century education recognizes that students function in the real world and need to be prepared for it. 21st Century classroom assessment reflects this reality. In this course teachers learn what authentic assessment is and its benefits; they also learn how to create appropriate activities for authentic assessment. Other topics are: developing rubrics for the activities and assessing student performance on the basis of the rubrics and building student portfolios.
Creating Quality Learning Environments in ECE
Environments teach young children about the world and help them find their place in it. Environments create routines and predictability, signal children how they are expected to behave, and can either instill children with hope or bury them in despair. This course will help teachers carefully plan and ensure the quality of the learning environment and its facilities, in order to help students develop and learn effectively.
Creative Writing in the Language Classroom
Teaching creative writing is a challenge and raises such questions as: What can the students write? How should writing be connected with reading? How can creative writing be assessed? This course covers the benefits of creative writing, various strategies for teaching it, and how to integrate creative writing with reading.
What do the students in your school know and what should they know? These are the basic questions that curriculum mapping can answer. In this course teachers and administrators learn which areas are usually covered in curriculum mapping, the main phases of the curriculum mapping process, and the roles and responsibilities of the curriculum mapping team. There are also suggestions for promoting curriculum mapping in your school.
Dealing with Behavioral Problems
Students with behavioral problems can seriously disrupt learning in the classroom. This course provides teachers with an understanding of the common causes of difficult behavior as well as strategies for improving the behavior of students with behavioral problems. Participants learn approaches that build students’ self-esteem through positive reinforcement. They also learn to communicate effectively with students and develop an effective behavior management program for the disruptive child.
Differentiation of Instruction: Practical Strategies
This course is designed to assist teachers in differentiating learning experiences so that all students benefit from an appropriate level of challenge. The theory, definition, and rationale behind differentiation will be addressed; however, the main emphasis of the course will be placed on practical application of differentiation in instructional strategies to suit the needs of different ability students.
Differentiation of Instruction: The Learning-centered Classroom
The purpose of this course is to enhance participants’ understanding of how to better meet the needs of different learners. The learning-centered classroom makes use of an instructional approach in which students influence the content, activities, materials, and pace of learning. This learning model places the student (learner) in the center of the learning process. The instructor provides students with opportunities to learn independently and from one another and coaches them in the skills they need to do so effectively.
Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom
Student learning in the classroom encompasses not only intellectual development but also development of social and emotional skills. This course covers the core elements of emotional intelligence and helps teachers recognize aspects of their own emotional intelligence. Course participants learn how to develop a safe, caring environment in the classroom, use instructional methods that enhance social-emotional learning, and create effective ‘habits of mind’ in students.
How can you recognize gifted students? What are some effective strategies for teaching them? This course covers: defining giftedness and identifying the characteristics of gifted students, various teaching strategies to use with the gifted student, and a variety of methods for assessing learning in the gifted student.
Health and Physical Education
How to Handle Difficult Students
How to Handle the Special Needs Student
How you handle the special needs student in the inclusive classroom affects the learning of all your students. In this course teachers learn to take proactive measures to manage behavior and create an appropriate classroom environment. Other topics are: planning lessons so as to minimize behavioral problems, managing group behavior with special needs students in mind, and selecting behavioral interventions for the special needs students.
Integrating English, Math, and Science
Integrated teaching and learning helps students make meaningful and relevant connections between subjects and develop a more profound understanding of concepts. Teachers in this course learn how to use a variety of language functions when teaching Math and Science. They also learn how to use a variety of instructional strategies for integrating English, Math, and Science as well as how to write lesson plans that integrate the three subjects.
Integrating New Technologies into Learning
Using new technologies can help promote student learning; however, these technologies must be used appropriately. This course covers how to evaluate and select appropriate technologies and use them effectively for student learning. Other topics are: using and evaluating websites, selecting and using appropriate online assessment software, and developing lesson plans that integrate new technologies.
Introduction to the Montessori Method
Montessori education emphasizes the independence of children, their freedom within limits, and respect for their natural psychological development. Teachers who attend this course will be able to incorporate some aspects of the Montessori method into their classrooms. Topics to be covered are: the essential elements of the Montessori method; creating a Montessori learning environment in the classroom; curricula, lesson plans, and teaching methods appropriate to the method; and the types of materials used by children in Montessori classrooms.
Investigate Problems in Your Own Classroom
Memory Strategies for Students
Using memory strategies can increase students’ efficiency when learning and studying as the strategies develop the student’s ability to organize and retrieve information. This course starts with an explanation of what memory strategies (mnemonics) are and of the advantages of using them. Participants will learn how to use and teach memory strategies for introducing or organizing concepts and for reviewing and retrieving information.
Student motivation is central to learning. If affects students’ desire to participate in the learning process and their involvement in academic activities. What are the factors that motivate or demotivate students? What techniques can increase their motivation? These questions are tackled in the course. Other topics are: adapting different motivational techniques according to the individual student, integrating motivational goals into planning and teaching, and developing a plan for creating motivation.
Planning the Children's Program in ECE
The entire focus of planning and administering early childhood programs is on planning the children's programs. Decisions regarding the program are to be based on knowledge of children, educational goals and learning outcomes. This course will help teachers implement the ECE program through equipping them with necessary information and skills regarding teaching strategies, the use of technology, the development of supportive relationships and the establishment of program supports.
Problem-based learning has the potential to help learners develop integrated knowledge, collaborative teamwork skills and critical thinking. This course starts with discussion of the purpose and outcomes of problem-based learning as well as the process of defining goals and learning objectives. The core of the course is how to implement problem-based learning: guiding students in determining a problem, using multiple sources of information and analyzing it, making discoveries and reporting them, and developing and presenting solutions. How to evaluate students’ problem-based learning is also covered.
In project-based learning students work cooperatively over a period of time; they create a presentation, product, or performance. The teacher defines the teaching goals of the project-based learning and is a facilitator. Teachers in this course will learn how to guide their students to select a realistic situation or problem for a project; use multiple sources of information; collect and analyze that information; make and report discoveries; design and develop a final product, presentation, or performance. Evaluation of students projects will also be covered.
Six Traits of Writing
The key characteristics of good writing are laid out in the six traits of writing: ideas and content, organization, voice, sentence fluency, word choice, and conventions. By teaching your students these traits, you will provide them with tools to improve their writing, and it will help you give useful feedback. There are also practical suggestions about how to encourage students in your writing class to use the six traits.
Skills for Better Learning
Students can optimize their learning by making effective decisions, using basic study skills, and practicing good time management. As a teacher you can help by using classroom management and teaching methods that encourage students to make effective decisions. The course also covers teaching students how to organize their learning, optimize their conditions for learning, and manage their time effectively.
Teaching for Multiple Intelligences
The theory of Multiple Intelligences holds that there are 7 basic types of intelligence. Knowledge of them helps teachers understand their students’ different abilities, and teachers can develop their teaching accordingly. This course identifies the multiple intelligences and the importance of being aware of them. Other topics are: assessing students’ weak and strong multiple intelligences, teaching strategies and methods appropriate for different MIs, assessing and grading students for different MIs, and applying MI principles to lesson plans.
Teaching “Outside the Box”
Teaching “outside the box” means teaching creatively. Two aspects of this are using real-life situations and multiple sources when preparing lessons. This course compares traditional teaching with teaching “outside the box” and presents some examples of the latter. Other topics are: teaching strategies and appropriate assessment techniques for teaching “outside the box” and a survey of new technologies that can be used.
Teaching Reading in Elementary Classes
Teaching children to read is of central importance. Children who read well are children with a better chance of doing well throughout their years of schooling and beyond. In this course teachers will learn to use different teaching strategies and different models of teaching. They will design lesson plans that integrate reading and writing for specific grade levels.
Teaching Reading in Preschool
Teachers of preschool/KG play a critical role in promoting literacy and preparing young children for reading. In this course teachers learn how to develop phonological awareness in children, use a variety of activities for oral language development, and use a number of techniques for developing print awareness in children. By developing these skills in children, the teachers will help them make a smooth transition to formal reading.
The Integrated Curriculum
Research shows that students learn best when curriculum contents are related to each other and connected to real-life experiences. Also, when students engage in real-world problem solving, they gain useful knowledge and skills. Participants in this course learn the basic forms of curriculum integration, choose forms that are appropriate and feasible in their schools, and design a unit using at least two different types of curriculum integration. There will also be discussion of how to encourage colleagues to use curriculum integration.
Using Manipulatives in Teaching Math
Manipulatives are especially useful for students who learn by touching and moving objects and those who make visual representations of mathematical concepts. However, manipulatives also provide an interesting way for students and teachers to represent numbers and mathematical operations. The main topics in this course are: the role of manipulatives in teaching math, types of manipulatives, and using manipulatives for teaching specific math concepts and operations.
Using Songs in Teaching English
Working with Families
Parents and other family members want to help their children succeed in school, and teachers who have contact with families develop a deeper understanding of the children in their classes. The main topics of this course are: creating an information sheet for each student in the class, regular contact with parents to give them good news about their child, meeting parents, and making suggestions to parents about how they can support their child’s learning at home.
Assessment and Evaluation in Education
The assessment of student performance is one of the most difficult and most important of all tasks performed by teachers and must be ongoing in nature. This course is designed to acquaint teachers with major methods and techniques of evaluation used to assess and report the development and academic achievement of diverse learners.
Child Development in the Early Years
Early Childhood educators need to have an operational understanding of typical developmental patterns as they interact with and teach young children. This course examines theories and research related to the cognitive, physical, social, and affective development of children and their learning. These domains are explored and implications for learning environments are drawn. Case studies are used, and participating teachers will practice developing learning experiences and activities for children.
Child Development: Learning and Motivation
This course studies the principles of learning and motivation based primarily on theories applied to teaching and learning. It equips teachers with an understanding of how learning occurs and explains the essential role of motivation through the whole process of learning. The participants will practice applying learning theories in given classroom situations. They will also practice using motivation techniques in a classroom.
In this course teachers acquire basic knowledge about the most successful classroom management techniques for different situations. The main topics are: classroom management defined, causes of student misbehavior, designing clear expectations, classroom management strategies and techniques, and building a classroom community. The course is instructed through a selection of readings, group discussions, instructional activities and problem-solving activities.
Careful lesson planning is an essential component of effective teaching. This course will help teachers plan instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, and curriculum goals. It will provide them with necessary information and skills to formulate lesson plans, to devise instructional objectives, and to construct activities for different subject matters at different grade levels.
This course helps teachers acquire basic knowledge about the most successful teaching strategies; the teachers also learn how best to apply those strategies in a classroom setting. The main topics are: the dynamic teacher, organizing groups of learners for instruction, diversifying teaching strategies, and building a classroom community. The course is given using a selection of readings, group discussions and instructional activities.
Teaching Arabic in the Classroom
Teaching English in the Classroom
In this course participants are provided with the opportunity to understand and explore the models and strategies for teaching and learning the components of the language arts program for elementary school. Participants are provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and to apply strategies for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Teaching Math in the Classroom
Teaching Science in the Classroom
The Diploma for Coordinators and Division Heads Program is designed for current and future division heads and coordinators as well as other administrators who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in their various areas of responsibility. Courses are based on theory and build on the participants’ experience through interactive methods. Participants may take individual courses or the full program (5 courses). Each course is 30 hours.
N.B. These are non-credit courses. They are separate from the regular bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at Haigazian University.
The Diploma of Special Education Fundamentals Program is designed to provide teachers with a basic understanding of special education and basic skills to deal with special needs children. It is for people with classroom experience as regular teachers, special education teachers, or assistant teachers and people with experience working in a center for special needs children. (In special cases we will accept people who have worked on an individual basis with special needs children.) Participants may take a single module or the full program (2 modules). Each module is 26 hours.
N.B. These are non-credit modules. They are separate from the regular bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered at Haigazian University.