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Fun Summer Learning Activity: DIY Sundial

Today is the first day of summer--also known by astronomers, scientists, and mathematicians as the Summer Solstice. The June Solstice takes place each year between June 20th and June 22nd and means that the Earth is farthest from the Sun on that day. This also makes students on summer vacation happy as there are more hours of sunlight to enjoy!
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Earth Day Is Here--Are Your Students Ready?

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:
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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.   Like 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.
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Why even fluent students struggle with comprehension

In a recent article published in Science Magazine, Harvard researcher Catherine Snow discussed a growing problem in our schools: the lack of academic vocabulary instruction. Many fluent readers, and especially struggling readers, have a difficult time understanding texts in science, math, and social studies because the terminology is so foreign. This disconnect hits hardest in junior high and high school, when the texts become more complex and vocabulary instruction becomes less prevalent. So what can be done?
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