Now that March has blown in, which schools have passed more math lessons than all the rest? Read on to see who made the Sweet 16 in our annual Imagine Math MX3 contest!

Before our contenders can advance, they must compete in a new math challenge each week during March. Who will have what it takes to advance in our MATH Madness competition–or win it all? As past winners can attest, it takes an entire school to win the MX3 contest, now in its tenth year.

But expect all the hard work to pay off. The winning school will receive an impressive trophy, school banner, gift card, student certificates, medals, and guest speakers–the works!

Sweet Sixteen Contenders

The following schools are contenders for our Elite 8 and Final 4 rounds. Read more »

Who writes limericks these days—a clever leprechaun, perhaps?

While we don’t know about leprechauns, we can tell you this: it’s time for Imagine Learning’s annual limerick contest, starring YOU—students from our partner schools across the country.

So, what is a limerick, anyway? Here’s an example:

You really don’t need to nitpick
when you write down your first limerick.
Just think of our theme,
Then, take time to dream.
Your rhyme’s sure to dazzle St. Patrick!

Now that you have a general idea of what a limerick is, watch The Limerick Song (below) to learn all the rules of limerick writing.

You can also view this video directly on Vimeo. Next–on to the rules! 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 »

On any given day, at any given hour, somewhere in America a student is completing a math lesson on Imagine Math (formerly Think Through Math).

But math isn’t the only problem they’re helping to solve.

Ask any math teacher: math can solve real-life problems. Need to balance your checkbook? That’s a math solution. Building a house? You need math skills to ensure a sound construction.

And if you’re donating to a good cause, math helps you calculate the bottom line and deliver the goods as promised. Read more »

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

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.