Represent, Act, Engage: How Universal Design for Learning Works

NAEYC Week of the Young Child 2016 Imagine Learning print concepts ABC song (space theme) from free the aliensPeeked inside a typical classroom lately? If so, you’re likely to see one teacher surrounded by an increasingly diverse group of students–each with unique learning needs.

What’s more, that ‘typical’ classroom is filled with students who are anything but typical.

Colombia activity, Imagine Learning EspañolFor one thing, there’s really no such thing as an average student.

Each class might contain students who struggle with reading or math, students who don’t yet speak English, and students with disabilities. On the other end of the spectrum are the gifted students who may need more challenges to stay engaged.

How on earth can one teacher meet the needs of all these diverse learners? Read more »

Top

Can Technology Stimulate Mental Development in Young Children?

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.

 

lab rat, enriched environment, brain research, learning, hippocampus, Imagine 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 »

Top

The Truth About Game-Based Educational Software

Math-facts, game-based learning,, GSL, Big Brainz, Imagine Learning, math fluency

Math-fact gamification

Ask a typical educator about game-based learning and video games in school, and expect at least some skeptical responses.

Many educators and parents worry about gaming as an educational tool.

Research on the educational worth of video games has been mixed, and some educators point out the fact that most data come from short-term studies.

While research on educational software is still young, increasing evidence points to positive outcomes for today’s students—despite the prevalence of headlines linking video games to bad behavior or lukewarm learning outcomes.

According to James Gee, an education professor at Arizona State University, blaming all video games for poor results is like blaming all food for the existence of obese people.1 Read more »

Top

Memorize Your Times Tables, Dear

Imagine Learning, math facts, Big Brainz, multiplication, times tables, solve problem, students, teachers, times tablesSix in every ten Americans report having difficulty solving some type of math, and 30 percent of Americans say they would rather clean the bathroom than solve a math problem.

Yet 93 percent of Americans say that developing good math skills is crucial to having a successful life.

So why would anyone dislike something that brings success?

Most Americans develop their attitudes about math from others. For example, if parents don’t enjoy math, they may pass that attitude forward to children.

Perhaps parents or teachers nag too much. “Memorize your times tables!” they might say, “Work harder!”

Or, perhaps nagging isn’t to blame. Maybe students feel inadequate during math class because they’re just missing out on some key fundamentals.

Whatever the reasons, no one can really deny the importance of mathematics. Math is important in everyday life! Read more »

Top

The Culture of Imagine Learning Español

España, Spain, map, famous architecture, information, cultural activity, Imagine Learning Español

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 »

Top