¡Canciones! The Music of Imagine Español

Imagine Español Pin Pon songHave you ever caught yourself humming the tune to a song you heard years ago? If so, you’ve tapped into the power of music and long-term memory.

The fact is, music makes learning stick. Just ask a neuroscientist. But first: a word or two on long-term memory.

Inherent to long-term memory are explicit (or declarative) and implicit (non-declarative) memory. If you consciously think of a specific memory, you’re tapping into explicit/declarative memory. By contrast, implicit/non-declarative memory requires no conscious effort.

When the brain is exposed to music and words together, that information becomes a part of the brain’s explicit and implicit memory. This helps explain why dementia patients who seemingly have little or no explicit memory can still remember tunes and words to songs they knew decades earlier.

Imagine Learning designers recognize that developing brains are open to myriad learning cues from an early age. In a semi-literal way, young brains are like sponges as they soak up information from multiple sources.

That’s why during the development of Imagine Español learning activities, designers worked closely with musicians, actors, and sound engineers to create an optimal learning environment–one in which music plays a critical role. Read more »

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Why Teach Academic Language?

Every day in American schools, teachers welcome more students whose first language is something other than English.

According to the Pew Research Center, this demographic trend will only grow exponentially in coming years. In fact, Pew estimates up to 93% of our population will come from immigrant populations and their children by the year 2050.

academic language Imagine LearningWhat do these numbers mean for schools? Here’s the short answer: schools will need better ways to teach language generally, and academic language in particular.

Why the importance? When students don’t master academic language, they’re at greater risk for falling behind or even dropping out of school.

The Language of Textbooks

Learning to speak, read, and write in English can be challenging enough.

But without knowing academic language (e.g., general-instruction words like “summarize,” math words like “times” as another way to say “multiplied by,” or science words like “hypothesis”), English language learners can quickly fall behind in their progress. Read more »

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Myth or Truth? Accepting Cultural Differences for a Global Mindset

A guest post by Deborah Cochran

ESOL Teacher for grades K-5 at Craig Elementary School, Parkway School District in St. Louis, MO

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.

*The following article is an updated version of a prior post by the author.

 

Multiculturalism is a hot topic in education today; just ask any teacher.

As more multicultural students enter the classroom, educators have to continually challenge old ways of thinking about culture. But where to start?

Like it or not, most assumptions about other cultures arise from cultural stereotypes or complete myths. And debunking those myths is an important first step when entering the pathway to a global mindset.

Multicultural celebration, Cochran, Imagine This, global

Read more »

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How Do You Say Your Name? Thoughts on Student Identity

My Name My Identity, Imagine Learning blog, name pronunciation, classroom, teachers, educatorsA new boy shows up at school. As he walks through the classroom door, the teacher welcomes him by saying, “Tell us your name.”

The boy, who has just moved to America from the Philippines, announces his name as Banoy Pamatmat. Whereupon the teacher asks, “Could you repeat that?”

Welcome to an increasingly common scenario in today’s schools.

As more immigrants relocate to America, educators encounter a wider array of new names and faces. And many of those names are challenging to pronounce. Read more »

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Imagine Learning Talks About the Common Core Standards

Common Core, Imagine Learning, state standards, advocates, opponents, CCSS, benefits, classroom, assessments, tests, fact or fictionAt Imagine Learning, we’re quite familiar with the variety of opinions surrounding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Although our own programs are aligned with multiple state standards (and not just the CCSS), we know what most educators are thinking on the subject. Here, we share a few of our findings.

What the Data Say

In August of 2015 a nationwide PDK/Gallup poll revealed that a majority of respondents oppose the teaching of Common Core. Interestingly, black and Hispanic respondents showed a lower level of opposition, at just 35 and 50 percent respectively.

In an earlier (2013) poll by PDK/Gallup, 72 percent of those polled indicated that they trust public school educators. But the same respondents also assume most educators oppose the CCSS, a view not aligned with the data.

In reality, 75 percent of educators support CCSS standards. Read more »

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