Imagine Learning Talks About the Common Core Standards

Common Core, Imagine Learning, state standards, advocates, opponents, CCSS, benefits, classroom, assessments, tests, fact or fictionAt Imagine Learning, we’re quite familiar with the variety of opinions surrounding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Although our own programs are aligned with multiple state standards (and not just the CCSS), we know what most educators are thinking on the subject. Here, we share a few of our findings.

What the Data Say

In August of 2015 a nationwide PDK/Gallup poll revealed that a majority of respondents oppose the teaching of Common Core. Interestingly, black and Hispanic respondents showed a lower level of opposition, at just 35 and 50 percent respectively.

In an earlier (2013) poll by PDK/Gallup, 72 percent of those polled indicated that they trust public school educators. But the same respondents also assume most educators oppose the CCSS, a view not aligned with the data.

In reality, 75 percent of educators support CCSS standards. Read more »

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

Imagine This, blog, Flag Day, flag etiquette, flag history, 2016, facts about flag, America

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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Imagine Learning Teaches Figurative Language

figuratively speaking

 

Sleep like a rock

Light as a feather

Cream of the crop

As big as a bus

 

 

The above phrases are examples of figurative language, all of which are commonly used in day-to-day English.

Any student–especially any English language learner–can struggle with such figurative speech, particularly when the implied meaning (i.e., idiom) does not translate to the student’s first language.

The concept of figurative language is also difficult for struggling readers to understand, but all students need to be able to identify and use it in reading and conversation. Read more »

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Math Teachers Who Undermine Math Fact Memorization

A guest post by Ben Harrison

Developer of Big Brainz math-fact fluency software

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(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

The following article was originally posted in February, 2015 on the Big Brainz Blog.

 

Teacher and student, Imagine Learning, guest author, Ben Harrison, math fluency, math facts, math memorization, single-digit, common core, math advisory panel, Big BrainzEvery once in a while I encounter a savvy educator who is opposed to memorizing math facts–or at least he or she appears to be.

Just today I saw a fearful article that exclaimed “memorization can inhibit fluency” and “memorization . . . can be damaging.”

Of course, educators are doing a wonderful job of championing number sense, comprehension, and problem-solving, but by attacking the vital skill of automaticity, they unwittingly undermine the very processes they intend to champion.

From Where I Sit

Before I go any further, let me jump to the punchline, because I know that if you’re one of these educators, you’re already getting ready to give me your very passionate point of view.

So . . . if, as an educator, you have a negativity towards memorization, I would suggest that it’s because you haven’t seen it done well. Read more »

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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 »

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