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Work with Kayla

Kayla Delzer is a 3rd grade teacher and technology champion in North Dakota. She is a columnist for Edsurge and blogger for Edutopia, where she writes about a variety of edtech and design topics. She has nine years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently in the process of becoming National Board Certified, the highest mark of professional accomplishment. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners. Kayla frequently travels around the United States as a featured and keynote speaker, and she is proud to be an international speaker with Best Keynote coalition. Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is highly sought after by educational and technology companies to preview and review their products. Kayla sits on several advisory boards of educational companies, and works closely with Remind, Go Ennounce, GoNoodle, Amazon Education, Seesaw, and Creative Teaching Press to name a few. She was also recently selected as North Dakota’s Lead Digital Innovator by PBS. She is authoring her first book for educators based on best 21st century teaching practices for digital natives. You can connect with Kayla on all social media platforms @topdogteaching, and her student lead social media accounts @topdogkids.

On October 28, 2016, Kayla was invited to give a keynote at Twitter Headquarters! Watch her inspiring talk below about the importance of embedding authentic digital citizenship opportunities in each day. 

If you see a particular session you are interested in, please contact me via email Or, if you would like me to come to your conference or school and present on a different topic, I can customize my sessions to meet your needs. 


Reimagining Classrooms: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders
Published on Oct 13, 2015 via TEDx
Why do some classrooms look the same now as they did 70 years ago? In this passionate talk, second grade teacher Kayla Delzer speaks about her mission to revitalize learning and the classroom environment. Kayla explains how to release the power in the classroom by giving students ownership of their learning and making it relevant to them.
Breaking down the four walls of the classroom allows her students to become globally connected - and you won’t believe the endeavors her students conquer by embracing purposeful technology.

Reimagining Learning Spaces
*This session is based off of my column, Why the 21st Century Classroom May Remind You of Starbucks.*
If we take a look at classrooms over the past 100 years, we are seeing the same type of learning environments, year after year. The world is changing, yet our classrooms are remaining much the same. Revitalizing space is a straightforward way to let students exercise choice in the learning environment and find academic success on their own terms. Leave this session with a good idea about how to turn your classroom into a flexible seating, student led "Starbucks for Kids" learning space.

iPads for Elementary Learners

Description: Transform your classroom into a 21st century learning zone. Come explore a typical day in the life of a connected second grade classroom student. The session will cover responsible iPad use, apps for creation and not just consumption, management tips, and digital citizenship. You'll leave ready to seamlessly integrate anywhere from six to 1:1 iPads throughout the entire school day.

Demonstrating Student Understanding Through Technology*

Technology can give even the quietest students a voice and a chance to shine. This session will target different apps that help students demonstrate what they have learned using both their voice and work. Often students can show that they understand something, but have difficulty explaining how they know they have mastered a concept. Several student examples will be shown, and ample time will be provided to explore the apps. 
*If this is a session you would like me to present, a list of apps will be provided beforehand to download.

Student-Led Learning: Genius Hour Passion Projects
Have you been hearing about Genius Hour, passion projects, or Google’s 20% time in classrooms? Are you unsure how to justify this type of student-led learning—or implement it with fidelity? Kayla presents the research behind allowing students one hour of their week to study what they are passionate about. From brainstorming topics to creating meaningful, student-driven presentations, learn how to create a classroom where student passions come alive.

Guided Writing & Beyond: Revision & Editing Strategies that Really Work 
Do your students lack the revision skills necessary to create meaningful writing? Collect strategies to implement in your guided writing or writing workshop block. Kayla walks you through classroom-tested revision and editing strategies. Take your revision and editing process beyond the basics to advance your students’ writing to the next level.

Improving Reading Fluency with QR Codes & Augmented Reality 
Do your students sound like robots when they read? Or assume that reading quickly is the same as reading fluently? See what happens when you transform your reading block or Daily 5 to a more student-led center or station. Kayla shows you how to help students record books, self-assess and peer-assess fluency, and create QR codes and Augmented Reality auras of the recordings. This is the ultimate listening center for today’s diverse learners! 

Accountable, Engaged & Proud: Let Your Students Drive Math Instruction  
What happens when teachers and students flip roles? When everyone’s a teacher and everyone’s a learner? Powerful learning occurs! Find out in this session how to turn over the power to your students by allowing them to lead math instruction and create meaningful content. Kayla shares favorite apps, web sites, tips, and strategies for engaging students and empowering them to take ownership of their learning while you’re getting a snapshot of what they do and don’t know.
Twitter and Instagram for Teachers 
Description: If you've signed up for Twitter or Instagram and are wondering how to get started, this class is for you. Both of these social media tools are now wildly popular. Come see why millions of users have flocked to these sites. You will leave with a good start of a PLN in each network. 

Bring the World to Your Classroom!

Description: Learn to take your students -- no matter how young -- anywhere from outer space, to the Minnesota Zoo, to classrooms in other states and countries. Discuss ways to safely encourage virtual exploration and student led classroom social media accounts. Leave this session ready to empower students to virtually “Share Their Story” and bring the world to your classroom.

21st Century Parent Communication Tools

Description: Sending home only a weekly newsletter is no longer an option in our 21st century schools. During this session, you will learn how I utilize Remind 101 text messages daily, blogging, Twitter, Homeroom app, and emails to communicate classroom happenings with families.

So You Think You Can Teach? 
Description: This presentation is targeted at preservice teachers. Topics addressed include: advice for preservice teachers, launching a new school year, integrating technology in your classroom, classroom management, setting up a classroom, using social media in the classroom.

Social Media Info:
Twitter @topdogteaching and @topdogkids
Instagram @topdogteaching @topdogkids


Kayla Delzer
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  1. Hey Kayla! So, first I must admit I am a huge follower of yours and absolutely love everything that you do. Your positive outlook and attitude are contagious and I feel like more people should know about what you're doing to impact these little lives. You've motivated me to be better in so many different ways, so thank you! I found your blog after following Jen Jones (who just recently presented at our "sister school") some time ago and have desperately wanted to get you to our school. How can I find out more information about your presentations so I can present it to my administration? We are a STEAM school and our fifth graders have just received their 1-1 laptops. We have a great deal of technology at our school but I fear it isn't being used in the ways it should to impact student learning. After listening to your ChalkTalk I've decided to just go for it! Please help me out in discovering what steps I can take to get you here! :)

    Thank you!
    Mary Beth Martinelli
    Reading Specialist

    1. Hi Mary Beth! I'd love to come work with your school. Can you email me at so we can chat more? Thanks!

  2. Looking forward to seeing you here in Minot in November! Can't wait!!

  3. Hi Kayla! I have just started my new journey after almost 17 years of teaching and I am SO glad I found your blog to help me along the way! I have been off class for a few years now after having 2 children and next year (my first year back on class YAY!) I have a 3/4 class with flexible seating. It's a little daunting but I'm very excited! Teacher Down Under in Oz :)


[name=Kayla Delzer] [img=] [description=Award-Winning 3rd Grade Teacher. International Keynote Speaker. Classroom Designer. Flexible Seating Guru. TEDx Speaker. Columnist. Technology Champion. Digital Citizenship Expert.]

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