If you have a struggling reader in your classroom, you already know how that student feels about reading anything out loud.
And yet, reading out loud is one of the best ways to improve students’ oral fluency.
For instance, within Imagine Language & Literacy, struggling readers gain confidence as they read and repeat text from leveled books and regularly participate in activities like Fluent Reader. What’s more, when teachers listen back to the recordings, they can easily track student progress toward oral fluency.
But Readers Theater can be another way to engage struggling readers and help them read aloud–with expression.
Why a Readers Theater?
If all the world’s a stage, then every classroom can be transformed into a theater–in this case, a Readers Theater, which: 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 »
Halloween time is here. Is your costume ready to go?
If you’re a book lover, you can answer that question in the affirmative, thanks to our book-inspired Halloween costumes!
Costumes from Childhood Books
When seeking inspiration for a literary Halloween costume, no need to look further than the books you loved as a child. Here are a few basics:
- Fairytales (Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and so on)
- Dr. Seuss (Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who)
- Roald Dahl (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach)
- Shel Silverstein (The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, etc.)
Read more »
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 »