If you look hard enough, you’ll see math emerge from some of the most unlikely places. The fact is, we all use math in everyday applications whether we’re aware of it or not.
Mathematics is the universal language of our environment, helping mankind explain and create within it for thousands of years. From playing games to playing music, math is vital to helping students fine tune their creativity and turn their dreams into reality.
When am I ever going to use this?
Variations of this question have echoed through the halls of math classrooms everywhere. Struggling students often become frustrated with complex math problems and quickly give in to the notion that they will never use math in “real life” situations.
While it may be true that some of the more abstract mathematical concepts rarely come into play, the underlying skills developed in high school math classrooms resonate throughout a student’s lifetime and often resurface to help solve various real-world or work-related problems–sometimes years down the line. Read more »
Have 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 »
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.
Read more »
A 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 »
Sleep like a rock
Light as a feather
Cream of the crop
As big as a bus
The above phrases are examples of figurative language, all of which are commonly used in day-to-day English.
Any student–especially any English language learner–can struggle with such figurative speech, particularly when the implied meaning (i.e., idiom) does not translate to the student’s first language.
The concept of figurative language is also difficult for struggling readers to understand, but all students need to be able to identify and use it in reading and conversation. Read more »