If you’re an elementary teacher, you’ve probably seen these two kinds of students in your classroom:
- Students who understand and enjoy math.
- Students who are frustrated by math because they don’t understand it.
It’s your job to help those in the second group find their way into the first group. Luckily, picture books about math can really help.
The ‘Why’ of Math Picture Books
It’s human nature to enjoy stories. By relating to a character who feels the way they do, students can gain the confidence to move through their own challenges–both in and outside the classroom.
Even more importantly, there’s a tangible link between reading and math. It stands to reason that doing one can help the other.
When teachers use picture books containing math themes (either implicit or explicit), they offer students a contextualized experience with mathematics generally.
Plus, a good story can comfort the heart of any student who’s afraid of math. Read more »
Mention the words “math” and “fun” in one breath and you might prompt a few raised eyebrows from those around you. But the truth remains that math actually can be fun. All the same, a negative view of math tends to prevail in America; even in the latest flurry over STEAM-based learning initiatives.
For one thing, too many parents’ own experiences with math were less than stellar. Similarly, teachers may feel anxious about motivating youngsters in their classrooms if they aren’t already huge math fans themselves.
What to do?
Don’t worry. Here are a few ways you can help children (and yourself) see math as a fun experience right from the start. Read more »
A guest post by Dr. Eugene Emmer, medical entrepreneur and author
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.
As a physiologist and parent, I have long been interested in the impact of early childhood education on the child’s developing brain.
Over the years, an increasing number of scientists have devoted lab research to brain development and function. Their findings are not only fascinating, they also show how important proper stimulation is for the developing brain.
For example, years ago I read an intriguing study that demonstrated a marked increase in hippocampal neurons in adult mice living in an enriched environment.
Basically, the study showed that young rats raised in a stimulating environment had better-developed brains than rats raised in unstimulating environments.
During this study, scientists raised two groups of rats. One group lived in an enriched environment that included toys, tunnels, wheels, and so on; the other group was raised in an empty cage with only food.
Scientists showed that the rats raised in the enriched environment developed more hippocampal neurons than the rats raised in an empty cage. The stimulating environment had developed each rat’s young brain much the same way that lifting weights develops muscle. Read more »
Learning about España
In Imagine Learning Español, young students have a great time learning to read in Spanish.
As students begin their learning paths, they listen to letter and syllable sounds, sing along to captivating songs, and build reading skills in activities made just for them.
But most kids are less familiar with how Spanish is spoken around the world. They might think that every Spanish speaker sounds just like them!
The designers of Imagine Learning Español want to help young readers of Spanish appreciate the wider world that surrounds them.
With this goal in mind, Imagine Learning Español includes cultural activities featuring Spanish-speaking countries around the globe. Read more »
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.
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 »