Language Acquisition and the Mathematics Classroom

A guest post by Linda Hardman

President of Linda A. Hardman Consulting, Inc., teacher, and developer of multiple award-winning K12 math products

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

 

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the percentage of English language learners (ELL) in US public schools grew in the 2012–2013 school year by 9.2 percent (i.e., 4.4 million students) compared to the prior school year.

Additionally, a new Pew Research Center study reported that a near-record 13.9 percent of the US population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing here.

Wiki Commons photo, preschool kids, English language learners, academic language, math, math literacy

A diverse group of young students

Because of these trends, students are significantly challenged to master academic language across the US.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics are also placing high demands in mathematics regarding abstract and quantitative reasoning, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, and looking for/expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.

Students and educators are even more challenged with the acquisition of academic language as a tool for mastering conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematical standards and practices.

As a result of the increasing amount of ELL students and the challenges presented by the CCSS for mathematics, it is important for students to acquire both academic language skills and mathematical fluency.

Moreover, the same essential reading components and first-language supports provided in reading classes also belong in the mathematics classroom.

Read more »

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Hang Tight, Teachers–Summer’s Almost Here

Empty classroom, Imagine This blog, summer reading, celebrate end of school, accomplishments, personalized videoIt’s almost time for school to end for the year. And–if you’re like most educators–you’re counting the days until summer vacation.

But before you get there, why not take a little time to celebrate the great accomplishments of your class?

Imagine Learning can help make the end-of-year transition less hectic and a lot more fun.

Video fun

Your students have done a lot of learning this year, thanks to you. Sounds like a great excuse to make a personalized video! Read more »

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Rhyme and Repeat: 5 Poetry Activities Kids Will Love

Hey diddle diddle, poetry, rhymes, kids love poems, rhyming activities, classroom, memorize poem, poem in a pocket, celebrate poetry, Imagine Learning blog, rhyme and repeat

The cow jumped over the moon …

Hey diddle diddle …

You already finished the rhyme, didn’t you. Ever wondered why those childhood poems stick in your brain?

The answer is simple. Rhymes and poems have a beat.

At its essence, poetry is the most kinesthetic of all written forms. We can dance to it, sing to it, and feel to it. Poetry and rhyming tap into each listener’s heart and soul in ways that other texts may miss.

Imagine Learning blog, Rhyme and Repeat, Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll, image, Wiki Commons

Jabberwocky

From an educational view, poetry also fosters social and emotional growth.

Sharing poetry also builds a sense of community within a group of listeners and fosters creativity.

Poems are great avenues for self-expression–among all cultures and languages. Students who don’t speak English in the classroom can still listen to, read, or write a poem in their own language. Poetry is universal!

Test it for yourself by reading the following lines aloud:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Thus begins one of the most beloved of children’s poems, “Jabberwocky,” by Lewis Carroll (from Alice Through the Looking Glass, and What She Saw There, 1872).

National Poetry Month may be nearing an end; but luckily, you can use poetry in the classroom all year round. Simply rhyme and repeat any of these activities in your class! Read more »

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Fun Math Games For Kids This Summer

At Imagine Learning, we know that “fun” and “math” don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. This challenge makes learning basic math concepts a little difficult sometimes.

However, we also know how important these basic math skills are––so we created a list of super fun math games to help your kids learn subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication this summer. Or anytime!


Beach Ball Addition

beach ball addition math game

Supplies needed:

  • Beach ball
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

Label a beach ball with numbers 1-12 (make sure to repeat numbers for practice adding doubles). Have your children toss the ball to each other. Before they can pass it on to the next person, they simply add whatever numbers are under their hands after they catch it. Read more »

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Earth Day Is Here–Are Your Students Ready?

Earth day photo, April 22, Imagine Learning Earth Day blog post, activities for students

Photo credit: Blue Marble

Just when spring fever hits hard in classrooms across the country, Earth Day 2016 appears as a welcome friend on the horizon.

How will you and your students celebrate Earth Day this Friday, April 22nd? Read more about the history of this important event before you decide.

Why Earth Day?

After a Wisconsin senator witnessed firsthand the toxic effects of a Santa Barbara, CA oil spill in 1969, he knew it was time to rally the public, inspiring all to protect the earth’s environment.

On April 22, 1970, the first-annual Earth Day was born.

At the time, over 20 million people across America rallied for a cleaner environment. Year by year, participation increased and Earth Day events became more popular.

When Earth Day went global in 1990, it was celebrated by over 200 million people worldwide.

Each year, many important changes occur because of Earth Day celebrations. For example: Read more »

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