During January 2017, we asked math educators all across the country to send us their best student journal entries for Imagine Math (formerly Think Through Math). And we weren’t disappointed!

So what is “Journaling January” all about?

In a nutshell, we asked student/teacher teams to send us an Imagine Math journal page that illustrated how students broke down a math problem and solved for the correct answer.

### Journaling January–Weekly Winners

Through great teamwork, these winners took their math understanding to the next level. Congratulations to the winning student/teacher teams from these schools: Read more »

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.

What 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 »

Multiplication worksheets. Schools commonly use these to measure math fact fluency, yet aggregating response times is tricky, especially given the typical number of math facts measured.

What’s more, the resulting data rarely tells you which math facts a student knows fluently compared with facts they are still calculating.

### How to Maximize Effectiveness

When it comes to multiplication worksheets, use these tips to maximize your effectiveness in the classroom:

1. Assess each individual fact. You can use a stopwatch or let a program like Timez Attack do the job for you automatically; but at some point, it’s critical to measure which facts students can recall automatically and which ones they have to stop and calculate.

If you don’t measure each fact accurately, you won’t fix it. Read more »

Every day, caring educators give their all to help kids everywhere succeed, learn, and grow. At Imagine Learning, we enjoy helping educators do all three of these things.

But what about kids in the local community–particularly during the holidays? Here’s our report for late 2016:

Aquarium book box

### Startup Santa

During November and early December of 2016, Imagine Learning employees gathered 1,138 books (some new, some gently used) to donate to United Way’s “Startup Santa” project.

As part of the fun, employees were invited to decorate a box of books. Ours went swimmingly, as you can see!

### Stansbury Elementary

Each December, Imagine Learning employees give back to disadvantaged kids who otherwise might not get holiday gifts.

For example, Stansbury Elementary (Salt Lake City, UT) welcomes many low-income students through its doors daily. Because of donations from Imagine Learning employees, 70 Stansbury students were able to have a happy holiday season in 2016. And we look forward to helping again in 2017!

The holiday season was also a little brighter for 15 other Utah children in four families, thanks to several of our Imagine elves who gathered clothing items, toys, and books for each child on the list. In some cases, employees purchased more than one gift for these kids–and some offered cash donations.

We love and appreciate our generous Imagine Learning team for all they do to help children and families each year. Happy New Year!

The holiday season is a busy time for educators. One day it could be an intense new project for the first-graders; the next day it might be a food drive that involves the entire school.

During times like these, exhaustion hits hard–and the holiday break can’t come soon enough.

But every now and then, a word of encouragement to a struggling student can make all the difference. Who knows–that extra boost might just help a struggling student triumph over a hard math problem. Or help a shy student speak up in class. Or help an English language learner read at grade level for the first time.

To all who work so hard to nurture the minds and hearts of kids, please enjoy the video below–and happy holidays!