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Are You a Lucky Limerick Writer? Enter Our 2017 Contest

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!
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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 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.
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Should your class jump on the blogwagon?

When a friend of mine first invited me to participate in her group blog about eight years ago, I was a little baffled about how to use it. And I couldn’t decide if I liked the format. The Bookity Book Book Club would hold online discussions of—yep, you got it—books. Even though I love reading and discussing books, my participation was minimal because I just didn’t get how to use the program, and, sadly, I was scared to learn something new. But then my husband and I started having children while living far from our families, and suddenly blogging took on a new importance. It was a way to stay connected—to show parents and grandparents what was happening in the lives of our daughters. And it was a way for me to share my feelings and ideas with a broader audience than just “dear diary.” There are other ways to use blogs beyond family life, and teachers around the world have discovered the value of classroom blogging as not only “an avenue for their communications, but also as a tool for giving voice to what their students are learning and how they are learning.” Have you considered the idea of starting a class blog? Maybe you’re not quite sure if it’s the right thing for your class, or how to start, or if it will be worth the effort when so many projects already tug at your time. To help out, I’ve done a little research for you. Here are ten reasons to have your class start blogging:
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