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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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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Language Acquisition and the Mathematics Classroom

A guest post by Linda Hardman

President of Linda A. Hardman Consulting, Inc., teacher, and developer of multiple award-winning K12 math products

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

 

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the percentage of English language learners (ELL) in US public schools grew in the 2012–2013 school year by 9.2 percent (i.e., 4.4 million students) compared to the prior school year.

Additionally, a new Pew Research Center study reported that a near-record 13.9 percent of the US population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing here.

Wiki Commons photo, preschool kids, English language learners, academic language, math, math literacy

A diverse group of young students

Because of these trends, students are significantly challenged to master academic language across the US.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics are also placing high demands in mathematics regarding abstract and quantitative reasoning, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, and looking for/expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.

Students and educators are even more challenged with the acquisition of academic language as a tool for mastering conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematical standards and practices.

As a result of the increasing amount of ELL students and the challenges presented by the CCSS for mathematics, it is important for students to acquire both academic language skills and mathematical fluency.

Moreover, the same essential reading components and first-language supports provided in reading classes also belong in the mathematics classroom.

Read more »

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Meeting the Needs of Secondary Newcomer ELLs Through A Rigorous Curriculum

A guest post 

Teresa Vignaroli, ELL Supervisor, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Julie Baye, ELL School Improvement and Accountability Specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Giuliana Jahnsen Lewis, ELL Staff Development Trainer, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia

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.

 

Imagine Learning secondary ELLs blog photo of Kandahari girls Vignaroli and Jahnsen LewisLike many other districts in the nation, Loudoun County Public Schools has experienced an influx of older English Language Learners (ELLs).

Currently, nearly twenty-seven percent of our high school ELLs are proficiency level 1 students; forty-five percent are combined proficiency levels 1 and 2 students.

These students bring a myriad of situations and challenges that include varying ethnic backgrounds, low socioeconomic status, differing levels of formal education, and special needs status.

The varying language learner types and their unique needs indicate that there is no one-size-fits-all service delivery model nor one intervention that addresses, in its entirety, the best practices in service delivery models for high school ELLs.

Research, however, indicates that ELLs must have access to standards-aligned curriculum that is rigorous and grade-level appropriate. Read more »

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A post-literate age?

Have you ever heard the phrase “post-literate age?” I personally had never heard the concept before reading Christopher Doyle’s article in Education Week. The idea in general, however, is not foreign to me. The discussion regarding society moving away from literacy to more simplified technological mediums is a very prevalent and controversial topic.

In the article, Doyle focuses on how his students turn to books less and less. He says, “Books, long idealized as foundational shapers of intellect, no longer mold young people’s minds. While continuing to tout their merits, educators marginalize books and have not come to grips with the book’s declining role in society. Over the last few years, my high school students’ facility for print culture has atrophied markedly.” To the older generation, this is a concern. We learned our skills and knowledge from textbooks. It was the focal point of our learning. Because it is how we are used to education, we are concerned when our younger generation seems to disregard those important tools.

Read more »

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