Learning Out Loud: Readers Theater for Struggling Readers

 

Curtains Up leveled book, Imagine Language & Literacy 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 »

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Show Your Pi Day Power

Imagine Math pi day logo You don’t have to be a math geek to love Pi Day (March 14)–but it helps!

Like many others throughout the world, the Imagine Learning family celebrates Pi Day with pie, from blueberry to lemon chiffon–the more flavors, the better. But eating a slice of pie is only one time-honored tradition on Pi Day.

Fun ‘Pi Day’ Facts

How much do you really know about Pi Day? Test your knowledge with a few fun facts: Read more »

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6 Ways to Engage with Black History at School

During Black History Month each February, K-12 teachers across the country take a special look at their lesson plans. Will it be a guest speaker this year, or a lecture on Harriet Tubman?

Although some prominent black Americans question the need for a Black History Month, Americans as a whole think it’s worth commemorating. And all cultural backgrounds can benefit by learning about the black experience–then, and now.

But to really engage students, this occasion requires thoughtful planning. Here are six ideas for making black history come alive in the classroom.

Move Beyond Familiar Historical Figures

black history month, Imagine Learning

Alonzo Herndon

While names like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. are important, they shouldn’t eclipse the names of unsung black Americans. The recent success of the movie “Hidden Figures” illustrates this point well.

Depending on the ages of those you teach, why not craft a lesson around black inventors–or ask students if they have a lesser-known hero they’d like to discuss? Ask a local historian for further ideas.

You can even talk about and play musical excerpts by black composers. Or profile black musicians in general. The point is: get creative.

Learn More About the Underground Railroad

Make history come alive by seeing how former slaves escaped to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Read more »

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Why Teach Academic Language?

Every day in American schools, teachers welcome more students whose first language is something other than English.

According to the Pew Research Center, this demographic trend will only grow exponentially in coming years. In fact, Pew estimates up to 93% of our population will come from immigrant populations and their children by the year 2050.

academic language Imagine LearningWhat do these numbers mean for schools? Here’s the short answer: schools will need better ways to teach language generally, and academic language in particular.

Why the importance? When students don’t master academic language, they’re at greater risk for falling behind or even dropping out of school.

The Language of Textbooks

Learning to speak, read, and write in English can be challenging enough.

But without knowing academic language (e.g., general-instruction words like “summarize,” math words like “times” as another way to say “multiplied by,” or science words like “hypothesis”), English language learners can quickly fall behind in their progress. Read more »

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How to Build Empathy and Gratitude at School

Thanksgiving, gratitude, empathy, Imagine This

Ah, Thanksgiving. That time of year when students celebrate life’s bounty by creating paper turkeys filled with colorful ‘gratitude’ feathers.

Meanwhile, older students may collect canned goods for the local food bank or gather coats for the homeless shelter.

As everyone buzzes with holiday anticipation, it’s pretty easy to feel grateful.

However, the holidays aren’t always rosy for everyone, including low-income students, students with disabilities, and those who live in negative or dangerous circumstances.

Even students with the greatest advantages can struggle with ingratitude, despite holiday activities that remind them to count their blessings. What’s the solution? Read more »

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