Talk TuesdayPD, is a series of staff development resources that focus on a current industry topics. Each Talk TuesdayPD includes an article and resources with accompanying discussion guide and application activities that may be used for self-directed learning or for leadership-led PD.
STEM Pathways to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
Young people today face a health crisis—unhealthy eating habits and decreased physical activity have led to skyrocketing obesity rates. Not long ago, young people walked to school, enjoyed long recesses and spent a lot of time outside. Today, young people lead a very different lifestyle: Walks have been replaced by car rides; recess and physical education have been squeezed by academic expectations; busy families and the rise of convenience food have led to more processed foods. The good news is that education can help. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—the subjects known as STEM—can provide pathways to help achieve healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA). Programs often provide both kinds of activities; combining them makes great use of program resources and time. HEPA-focused STEM activities can provide the motivation, information and tools young people need to live a healthier lifestyle.
Seven Tips for Positive Behavior
Positive behavior begins and ends with relationships—not with the rules. While systems and guidelines can provide structure for young people, cultivating an environment of meaningful connections between staff and youth creates a culture where positive behavior is part of the ongoing learning and development. This month our staff development resource, Talk TuesdayPD, includes an article with 7 Tips for Positive Behavior by Melinda Barbosa, Middle School Program Director for the Gately Youth Center. Resources include an accompanying discussion guide that provide valuable tips, discussion, and application activities.
Ten Tips to Become a STEM Superstar
Do you want to have clear skin and lose weight? The secret is to teach STEM! Well, perhaps not, however, STEM continues to be a driving force in education. STEM is fun, it is an increasingly important part of education, and parents are placing it higher on their priority lists when selecting programs for their kids. Make STEM a priority this year. Both you and the young people you work with will evolve as learners, and who knows? It might even improve your skin and make you thinner. To get you started, here are 10 tips to make you a STEM Superstar.
5 Ways to Build Strong Relationships with Families
Family engagement has a life-long impact on the lives of children and comes in many forms. As professionals in the field of afterschool and expanded learning, it is important to remember that even though we may not see children’s family members at school or a program, this does not mean they are not engaged in the lives of their children. With that in mind, we need to actively build strong engagement with families when they can come to the school or program. This may seem daunting at times due to the demands of the current American family lifestyle, which not only include significant job and school responsibilities, but also involve jam-packed extracurricular schedules for all household members. Understanding that families are busy and frequently overwhelmed can help us think about how we can build stronger connections with families when they pick up or drop off their children at your program. Here are five quick techniques that help to build strong relationships in a fast-paced culture.
Want Young People to be Healthier, Happier and Smarter?
There are some very real and important reasons to provide young people with access to outdoor time. Increasing research shows that outside play and learning can provide many benefits. Outside is a great place for STEM learning. Astronomy, botany, biology, meteorology, geology and ornithology are just a few of the STEM topics that start in the great outdoors. Just being outside inspires STEM thinking. Why is the sky blue? Why do I have a shadow? Teaching STEM outdoors naturally encourages observation, hypothesis making and critical thinking, all while providing concrete examples of science in action. Download the resource for more information about these benefits as well as 15 Simple STEM Activities That Get Kids Outside (and help them be happier, healthier and smarter)!
10 Tips for Stepping Into Your Leadership
The role of a leader is one of great responsibility. Stepping into leadership can sometimes bring various challenges, difficult conversations and tasks that make your head hurt. This month's Talk Tuesday PD resource provides training materials including 10 tips, discussion questions, and application and reflection activities to help you and your teams learn how to fully step into leadership with intention, dedication and courage.
Cultivating Creativity and Curiosity Through Questions
Providing high-quality learning experiences is bigger than simply presenting hands- on activities. The goal is to create an atmosphere of discovery where kids are engaged in creative and critical thinking. Asking good questions is an important part of creating the right environment. Through intentional questioning you can stretch young peoples’ curiosity, reasoning ability, creativity, and independence.
Ten Tips for Building Relationships with Youth
Building positive relationships with youth is an essential task and a foundational component of good instructional practice. Youth grow and thrive in the context of close and dependable relationships that provide love and nurturance, security, and responsive interactions. A positive adult-youth relationship built on trust, understanding, and caring will foster children's cooperation and motivation and increase their positive outcomes at school (Webster-Stratton, 1999). These 10 tips will help afterschool professionals build positive relationships with youth.
Flip the Switch on Screen Time
When kids are physically active, they perform better academically, have better attendance and their behavior improves. This month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes the article "Flip the Switch on Screen Time," by Daniel W. Hatcher, National Out-of-School Time Advisor, Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The article is in collaboration with the National Recreation and Park Association, National AfterSchool Association and Alliance for a Healthier Generation, all members of the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition. Resources include the article and an accompanying discussion guide that provides valuable tips, discussion and application activities that will help staff learn to flip the switch on screen time.
Libraries as Partners During Out-of-School Time
A library can be an important multipurpose dedicated space for youth to engage in self-directed learning, generated by youth interests and needs and by what is most useful and compelling. This month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes the article "Libraries as Resources During OST." The article contains Tips for Partnerships between Out-of-School Time Programs and Libraries.
Best Practices to Prevent Bullying on Field Trips
Like children, bullying comes in many shapes and sizes. According to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of ninth- to 12th-grade American Students have experienced bullying. This month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes the article "Best Practices to Prevent Bullying on a Field Trip," by Kirsetin Morello.
Eight Things to Remember When Integrating STEM
Feeling like integrating STEM into your current curriculum is an unsolvable equation? STEM doesn't have to intimidate or overwhelm you. It's an essential component of every afterschool program, so this month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes the article Eight Things to Remember When Integrating STEM by Anna Padget Crocker, Project Associate: Afterschool and Community Initiatives at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. Resources include an accompanying discussion guide that provides valuable tips, discussion and application activities.
Ten Transition or Wait Time Games for School-Aged Children
Keeping kids engaged can be one of the toughest jobs in afterschool. Making sure everyone is satisfied is difficult, but with a large arsenal of fun, interactive games, you'll be sure to keep all of the kids moving and involved, begging to play the games again and again. This month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes the article Ten Transition Games by Gretchen Yeager, NAA Board Member and Director of Quality for Champions. Resources include an accompanying discussion guide that provides valuable tips, discussion and application activities.
Ten Strategies for Effective Communication in Afterschool
Working in an afterschool program involves taking on many roles and interacting with a variety of people, including staff, parents and children. Effective communication techniques can help maintain a clear vision of the program's goals, clarify expectations of staff and students, and assure parents that their kids are in good hands. This month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes the article Ten Strategies for Effective Communication in Afterschool by Jamie Garcia and Matthew Rushing from Extend-a-Care for Kids. Resources include an accompanying discussion guide that provides valuable tips, discussion and application activities.
Get Your Staff Motivated!
Keeping your staff motivated is a challenge especially when you don't feel motivated. Keep in mind, your staff is looking to you for leadership and direction and with a couple of changes, you can motivate them through your words and actions.
Build a Solid Team
It's not just about cooperation, it's about making every team member feel valued and important. You won't be able to get everything done without a great, solid team helping you along the way. So what do you do in order to build a strong team? This month our staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes an article about Building a Solid Team, by Extend-A-Care Kids and an accompanying discussion guide that provide valuable tips, discussion, and application activities.
Ten Ways for Coaching Toward Youth Program Quality
Quality is certainly on the forefront of afterschool/youth development programs across the country. You can be an important coach to support your staff in growing their capacity towards recognizing and incorporating youth program quality.
Tips for Transitioning with Kids
Do you or your staff need tips for transitioning with kids? This month our new staff development resource, Talk Tuesday, includes an article about transitions and accompanying discussion guide that provide valuable tips, discussion, and application activities.
How to Communicate Effectively with Licensors
Depending on your state and where your afterschool program is located, your program may need to have licensing in order to operate as an afterschool facility. In order to do that, you must know how to communicate effectively with the licensors you will be working with. Here are ten tips to help you do just that...
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