We’re TchAUSL! How Can We Help You?

TchAUSL-mockupsThis year is our sixth school year with TchAUSL and I’m as pumped as ever to share exciting new practices from across our network to help you become the teacher that you want to be. TchAUSL was created to help our coaches capture and comment on practice, but I think we’ve grown into a place where every teacher can learn and grow.

What does our site have to offer you?

Our App Makes It Easy to Record, Share and Annotate Your Practice

We designed the site and our Tch Recorder app with an eye on making it simple to capture and share your practice. With just a few steps, you can record instruction, upload it to our invitation-only site, share it with others in a group or keep it private in your workspace. TchAUSL also allows annotation of video with timestamping to draw attention to specific points of your instruction. Want to learn more? This short clip will get you started and you can pick it up here if you have an Apple device or here if you’re an Android user. Read more

Tch Tech Follow Up: Google Expeditions Are Going, Going…

Teachers control the VR headsets with a tablet which also allows them to highlight content for students.

Teachers control the VR headsets with a tablet which also allows them to highlight content for students.

Last week, I shared a short clip showing you the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. This international program brings immersive and engaging experiences to schools via virtual reality technology that you can try at home. Google is sending ambassadors with class sets of VR headsets throughout the Chicagoland area from now through November 11th. Hey! That’s just FOUR WEEKS away!

For that reason I am reaching out to YOU, 2nd through 12th grade science or social studies teacher, to tell you more about Google Expeditions so you’ll bring them to your school. To push you along, here are five reasons why you should take the time to recruit five other teachers for this amazing field trip in your classroom. Read more

Welcome Back! Your Quick Guide to 4 NEW Features in TchAUSL

Last month marked the start of TchAUSL’s third year in providing a space for our members to share with and learn from the most amazing teachers in Chicago. I am excited and proud to host this space again for this school year and I hope that you consider TchAUSL an indispensable resource for inspiration and collaboration.

Our incredible partnership with Teaching Channel has brought on some terrific changes to the site for this school year. Here are four improvements that we hope will improve your experience. Read more

5 Ways to Get Better This Summer with TchAUSL

macbook-mockupLike you, I didn’t become a teacher to get summers off. I taught summer school for my first six years stopping only once I realized that there are a lot of benefits to the Restful Summer. Chief among those perks is the ability to get better at teaching at my own pace (and my own place!) Each summer I choose a new skill or two to learn and practice. When I was in the classroom, I read a lot about mathematics methods and lesson design and recently I have used the down time to work on my video editing. It’s completely unlike PD during the year when you’re too preoccupied with deadlines and lesson planning.

Now that summer is within reach, here are five ways that our site can help you become a better teacher, coach or administrator. Read more

5 I Love: Essential Math Tools for the Overwhelmed


Your week doesn’t have to be like this.

Soon, we will roll out what was easily my favorite TchAUSL contest last year, the 5 I Love. For our Tch Talk blog this week, I want to share the love a little early with my list of 5 tools for you, the overwhelmed teacher.

Everyday Mathematics Virtual Learning Community

This VLC is maintained by the University of Chicago, the developers of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum. It’s free to sign up and once you’re in, you’ll find just about any resource you’ll need to be an EM Rock Star. The VLC has over 30,000 members who have shared videos of their EM practice, planning tools, manipulatives, student work examples and so much more. It’s all well organized around Common Core Standards and Standards of Mathematical Practice and includes tons of resources for English Language Learners. You can learn more about signing up here. Read more

TchAUSL Update: Threaded Discussions in Groups

If you have a keen eye and regularly visit your TchAUSL Groups, you may have noticed some changes in those groups. Here’s a before and after shot:Groups Update October 2014

Go ahead and open on your groups in another tab of your browser and I’ll give you a quick rundown of the changes. Choose a group with a lot of discussions (the highest number next to the balloon) to see the full effect. Read more

Video Playlist: Your Favorite Clips of 2013-2014

Our final video playlist for this school year features the five most-viewed videos out of the 42 that we created for TchAUSL this school year. In no particular order, I present to you Your Favorite Clips:


First Two Weeks at a New Turnaround School

Chalmers School of Excellence science teacher Cherita Srirama opened up her classroom and her practice in this clip from September 2013. Cherita shares what she learned in those first months in a new turnaround in this Behind the Teaching clip.

Read more

May Video Playlist: 5 to Inspire


This month’s playlist is dedicated to our teachers, coaches and administrators who desperately need a lift. You know: something, anything that reminds you of how incredible our profession is and pushes you to return to school tomorrow and run it. So I present to you five clips that should inspire you.

adapted-peFitness for All: Adapted PE @ Solorio

Solorio physical education teacher Matt Erlenbaugh shares this incredible program where juniors and seniors lead students with severe and profound disabilities through adapted activities in physical education.

Read more

Product Updates! Messaging and Tch Recorder


I wanted to share two big TchAUSL product updates:


It’s not real-time messaging like G-Chat but the lag time between send and receive is really short. You’ll notice the new toolbar at the top of the site and you’ll see My Messages near the center.


To send a message, tap on My Messages then New Message. A viewer will pop up on the lower right corner of your browser. Enter the name of the TchAUSL member in the “To” box, type your message and click Send.

A red dot will appear next to My Messages to notify you of new messages and by default you will receive an email when new messages are posted for you. You can turn off that email notification (which isn’t a bad idea) in your account settings here and all the way at the bottom.

Read more

Video Playlist: Deeper Learning with Projects

In one high school project, students designed and built solar collectors.

Did professional learning make your list?

You know, that list of everything that you plan to do next week when you don’t have to get up early and commute or stay late and grade papers. I hope it did, but I get it if it didn’t.

Either way, this week we aim to make it easy for you to push your practice with our newest playlist focused on Teaching Channel’s amazing Deeper Learning video series and project-based learning or PBL.

Read more