It’s a Grand Old Flag! 10 Facts about the Stars & Stripes

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Betsy Ross and the flag

People around the world recognize it as one of a kind. Officers salute it, children pledge allegiance in front of it, and citizens honor it.

It’s arguably our most famous national symbol–the flag of the United States of America.

While Americans and world citizens alike may know our country’s flag, everyone can still learn more about its history and use.

For young and old, here are ten important facts to remember on Flag Day, Independence Day, or any other time of year when the flag passes by.

Flag History

1. Many flag historians believe that the first American flag combined the Union Jack (British flag) with the 13-striped Colonial Merchant ensign.

At that time, posting the Union Jack without authorization was an illegal act, but the Continental Army ignored the statute and flew the flag as an act of rebellion against the British Crown. Read more »

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Hang Tight, Teachers–Summer’s Almost Here

Empty classroom, Imagine This blog, summer reading, celebrate end of school, accomplishments, personalized videoIt’s almost time for school to end for the year. And–if you’re like most educators–you’re counting the days until summer vacation.

But before you get there, why not take a little time to celebrate the great accomplishments of your class?

Imagine Learning can help make the end-of-year transition less hectic and a lot more fun.

Video fun

Your students have done a lot of learning this year, thanks to you. Sounds like a great excuse to make a personalized video! Read more »

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Rhyme and Repeat: 5 Poetry Activities Kids Will Love

Hey diddle diddle, poetry, rhymes, kids love poems, rhyming activities, classroom, memorize poem, poem in a pocket, celebrate poetry, Imagine Learning blog, rhyme and repeat

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.

Imagine Learning blog, Rhyme and Repeat, Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll, image, Wiki Commons

Jabberwocky

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 »

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Fun Math Games For Kids This Summer

At Imagine Learning, we know that “fun” and “math” don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. This challenge makes learning basic math concepts a little difficult sometimes.

However, we also know how important these basic math skills are––so we created a list of super fun math games to help your kids learn subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication this summer. Or anytime!


Beach Ball Addition

beach ball addition math game

Supplies needed:

  • Beach ball
  • Permanent marker

Instructions:

Label a beach ball with numbers 1-12 (make sure to repeat numbers for practice adding doubles). Have your children toss the ball to each other. Before they can pass it on to the next person, they simply add whatever numbers are under their hands after they catch it. Read more »

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Best books for summer reading

On the final day of summer break last year, my daughter devoured Caddie Woodlawn.

Last week I wrote about the techniques I use to encourage my children to read. This week, I am sharing a list of our favorite books. Some of them are award-winners—but even better—all of them win the approval of my three unforgiving children. So pull out the hammock, spread out a blanket, or puff up a beanbag. These books are sure to draw you in!

0–2 years

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • Drummer Hoff, Barbara Emberly and Ed Emberly
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Bill Martin Jr.
  • Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
  • The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper
  • Good Night, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
  • Quick as a Cricket, Audrey Wood
  • Piggies, Audrey and Don Wood Read more »
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