Free Spirit Professional: Resources for You
As we ease into summer, we hope you have time to breathe deep, reflect, and refresh. It’s been an unusual school year! To help with the professional learning part of your summer plans, we’ve filled this Upbeat News with flexible, go-at-your-own-pace options from our expert authors.
From our educator resource titles, this month’s excerpts share ideas for empowering students with choices, the power of problem-based learning, and seven critical questioning strategies to use daily. Read the excerpts here. And be sure to grab our download of the month below, which you can use to make differentiated learning plans.
We also have free on-demand professional development webinars . Watch when it’s convenient for you! Free Spirit authors present on topics such as mindfulness, visual learning, and self-regulation. Many of the webinars also allow you to earn continuing education credits.
Special Offer
Get free shipping sitewide* on purchases over $50. Sale ends June 30, 2020. Use code FS4YOU at checkout.

*Excludes already discounted sets, clearance items, and eBooks.
Resource Spotlight: Free Webinars
Free professional development at the tips of your fingers. Watch at your convenience. Choose from more than 20 webinars that our expert authors have presented. Many of the webinars also have an option that allows you to earn continuing education credits. Webinars include:
  • “Catching Happiness: How to Work Through Burnout and Be a Joy-Filled Teacher”
  • “Inspiring Student Empowerment: Moving Beyond Engagement, Refining Differentiation”
  • “Engagement Strategies for Students with Attention Challenges: Lower Anxiety and Raise Confidence” 
  • “How to Fill the World with Leaders: Creating School Cultures Where Student Leadership Thrives”
  • “Advances in PBIS: Contributions for Creating Equitable Systems”

For a full list of available webinars, visit Join our edWeb community, Social-Emotional Learning, Positive Behavior, and Student Achievement , to download free resources, connect with other educators, and register for upcoming webinars.
Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
Author and consultant Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., addresses three of six characteristics of high-quality professional development, with advice that is easily adaptable for virtual situations. Read now.
Author and consultant Diane Heacox, Ed.D., shares how to increase the likelihood that professional development will actually change teaching and learning.    Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) envisions a world where every student is engaged and empowered through an excellent arts education. Arts Education funding is focused on students. Projects are for prekindergarten through grade 12 students, the educators and artists who support them, and the schools and communities that serve them. Funded projects utilize and test innovative strategies, or scale up proven methodologies, for increasing access to arts education for more students.

Three types of projects are supported: direct learning grants to increase student knowledge and skills in the arts that occur during or outside the regular school day; professional development grants to deepen knowledge and strengthen the practice of educators or artists who engage students in arts learning; and collective impact grants to ensure that all students across entire schools, school districts, or states and in communities of all sizes, participate in the arts over time.

Eligibility: Public, Other (including homeschool, 501(c)(3) organizations)
Prize: $10,000–$100,000
Application Deadline: July 9, 2020

The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation awards Environmental Education Grants to promote environmental literacy, with funding for elementary and secondary schools, museums, and nonprofit organizations. Requests may be for operating, project, or capital grants, with emphasis on innovative ideas that produce multiple benefits and measurable impact. Grants support evidence-based teacher training and educational programming on environmental literacy for children and youth and high-quality programming to expand understanding of nature, conservation principles, and web of life. Preferred impacts are improved critical-thinking skills on environmental issues; increased appreciation for science, nature, and the outdoors; and increased exposure to nature.

Eligibility: Public, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501(c)(3) organizations)
Prize: Awards vary
Application Deadline: July 17, 2020
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“This powerful, insightful, and thought-provoking book adds a new dimension to teaching and learning. Because the topics covered are not only timely but also essential for teaching 21st-century students, I highly recommend this book to both experienced and new teachers.” Carolyn Coil, Ed.D., educational consultant and author

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Free Download

From Making Differentiation a Habit by Diane Heacox, Ed.D., this month’s free download is a differentiated learning plan template. The template provides a more systematic approach to planning with the diverse needs of students in mind and encourages flexibility. Differentiation can occur at any phase of the plan, and there is no single way to differentiate a lesson.

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Upcoming Events and Conferences 

August 20: Free webinar presented by Shannon Anderson, M.Ed.: “Ready, Set, Grow! How to Teach Growth Mindset in Grades K–8”
Many in-person conferences and events that Free Spirit would normally attend are being cancelled due to COVID-19. But you can always meet up with us online on the Free Spirit Publishing blog , with more than 1,000 articles featuring tips and tools for educators, counselors, and parents.
“It’s the lesson of a lifetime for a teacher: teaching is one element of who you are, but it’s not everything. You can be a good teacher, even a great teacher, but you don’t have to be a perfect teacher.” —Justin Ashley, The Balanced Teacher Path