Slowing the Summer Slide–Part I: Literacy

summer slide, reading, literacySummer is nearly here!

While kids may be rejoicing about the prospect of a summer break, parents and educators may wonder what they can do to combat the dreaded “Summer Slide”–a time when many students lose or forget the skills they learned during the school year.

As all educators know, kids who are already below grade level in their reading are especially at risk when summer break hits.

Summertime and the Reading Is Easy?

During the school year, struggling readers may receive more hands-on help from teachers and supplemental digital programs like Imagine Language & Literacy. But all bets are off once kids leave for the summer break.

For one thing, not all parents have the luxury of being at home with kids during the summer months.

What’s more–daycare, summer camps, and even summer school can be expensive for a lot of families. Even parents who work may not have the means to fight the summer slide in the traditional ways.

So, what’s a parent to do? 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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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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Earth Day Is Here–Are Your Students Ready?

Earth day photo, April 22, Imagine Learning Earth Day blog post, activities for students

Photo credit: Blue Marble

Just when spring fever hits hard in classrooms across the country, Earth Day 2016 appears as a welcome friend on the horizon.

How will you and your students celebrate Earth Day this Friday, April 22nd? Read more about the history of this important event before you decide.

Why Earth Day?

After a Wisconsin senator witnessed firsthand the toxic effects of a Santa Barbara, CA oil spill in 1969, he knew it was time to rally the public, inspiring all to protect the earth’s environment.

On April 22, 1970, the first-annual Earth Day was born.

At the time, over 20 million people across America rallied for a cleaner environment. Year by year, participation increased and Earth Day events became more popular.

When Earth Day went global in 1990, it was celebrated by over 200 million people worldwide.

Each year, many important changes occur because of Earth Day celebrations. For example: 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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