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Classroom Funding Spotlight: Donors Choose

According to the NEA, teachers annually spend almost $2,000 out of pocket for their classrooms. And most of that money goes for supplies. However, when teachers need to fund a larger project—for anything from a school fieldtrip to technology updates—they generally need outside help. And that help may seem hard to come by, especially in disadvantaged areas. Fortunately, today’s educators can turn to online crowdfunding as a strategy. And Donors Choose is one of the best crowdfunding organizations out there for teachers. Background Info Donors Choose began when a Bronx, NY high school history teacher launched a philanthropic website dedicated to teachers’ project requests. Once celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Colbert got on board, the site really went into overdrive. The Gates Foundation also offered support. To date, Donors Choose has helped teachers fund well over half a million projects in all fifty states.
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3 Top Social Media Choices for Elementary School Educators

Part III: Facebook If you’ve followed our blog lately, you know that we’ve covered the basics of both Instagram and Twitter in previous posts. Why did we leave Facebook for last? The simple reason is that we wanted to end with something familiar to most readers. Chances are, you already use a personal Facebook account. If not, it’s easy to create one. But more on that later. Although Instagram and Twitter are popular choices for educators, Facebook still has some traction in the educational world. Of course, some teachers still think Facebook is best for personal use only. Regardless of your view, you should still understand Facebook’s reach and follow good digital citizenship whenever you post.
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3 Top Social Media Choices for Elementary School Educators

Part II: Twitter Our previous blog post mentioned a few ways teachers use Instagram in their classrooms. After all, photo sharing is always a great way to enhance learning, which explains Instagram’s appeal. Even so, teachers may want more features. Enter Twitter. Not only can Twitter incorporate photos, it allows users to post links to articles or blogs and participate in live chats with like-minded professionals. Like Instagram, Twitter uses hashtags to funnel certain tweets into varied news feeds. Both platforms also require the @username feature. So, just what is Twitter, and why do educators use it?
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3 Top Social Media Choices for Elementary School Educators

Part I: Instagram How many times has someone suggested that you should post your classroom doings via social media? If you work with elementary kids, you might wonder if social media is age appropriate. Or you may be intrigued by the idea but have too little time to create an account. The fact is, most elementary school educators use social media for personal reasons—but they often have qualms about online social interactions at the office or in the classroom. Some worry about too much screen time in class. Then, there are privacy concerns to consider. Plus, some educators don’t feel that they know enough about social media to use it effectively. Regardless of how you feel about social media at school, you may benefit from learning how other educators use social networks. In this blog series, we’ll focus on the most popular social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. To begin, we’ll learn how Instagram works and why some educators use it at school.
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Can't Afford New Classroom Computers? Try This

You’ve trimmed your technology budget again. Meanwhile, some of your schools still put up with computers from the Stone Age, and something has to give. You just hope that ‘something’ isn’t another aging computer. Meanwhile, each school's computer lab serves an increasing number of special-needs and English language learners every day. And therein lies the problem. Where can a busy administrator find affordable--maybe even free--computers for classrooms?
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Booster's Costume Creator is Back!

As Halloween approaches, you probably ask a familiar question: What should my costume be this year? For inspiration, try Booster’s Costume Creator, back by popular demand for Halloween 2015. Go back in time as William Shakespeare, Amelia Earhart, or Albert Einstein. While you're at it, why not teach a quick history lesson in a memorable way? It's easy--just click the creator to view all your options, and then have fun learning about an important historical figure as you dress your avatar. When you settle on a combination that looks just right, pick a message and send your bewitching or dashing e-card to all your friends.   Get Started Here: Choose an avatar. Will it be Lily or Mel? You decide. Your chosen avatar will appear on the right side. Pick a background. Our background gallery lets you set the scene in a ghostly castle's hall, in an Egyptian tomb, or even in outer space. Scroll  through your options to pick a perfect background. Craft your costume. Whether you dress your character as a sinister vampire or as Cleopatra, you'll find costume pieces to match. If you like, mix things up and pair Booster's head with Count Dracula's cape or a pirate's legs. You can make your costume as tame or as wild as you like! Send to friends. Make someone's day with a little spooky fun. Print and deliver your Halloween greeting in person, or simply send an e-card version to anyone you choose.
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Win a tablet in the northeast region back-to-school contest

We have a great contest for our partners in the northeast! It’s time for school again, and we want to help you gear up for a great school year! As you organize professional development days, schedule computer time, and create plans for great classroom teaching models, we want to make integrating your Imagine Learning licenses into these plans as easy as possible. Easy is great, right? While you are making your school year easier, you will also be entering your school for a chance to win more technology! Every school that submits a completed integration plan  on or before October 16, 2015 will be entered to win an iPad or Android tablet up to a $499 value. Please note that each school can only submit one integration plan. Please work with your colleagues to make a plan that works for everyone.
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Wrapping up the school year

Summer is almost here, and we hope you have had a happy and successful school year. As a token of our appreciation for a great partnership this year, please use this fun, customizable video to celebrate all you have accomplished this year. Fill out your class name below to create a custom video featuring the Imagine Learning characters singing just for you. Then, share your video with your friends. You can even print out a summer souvenir for the whole class as the perfect year-end gift. Have a great summer!
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Brand new activities target core skills

The latest 14.3 release is jam-packed with powerful new content in three activity suites. The new activities teach core concepts about syllables and contractions, increase depth of knowledge, and develop critical reasoning skills. The Points and Reasons Suite helps students develop critical reasoning skills and prepare for testing. Points and Reasons uses peer modeling in a real-world situation to teach students how to identify, create, and support a claim. Light it Up allows students to practice reasoning skills as they select the best point to support a claim. Prove the Point asks students to read a passage, identify the main point, and think about the quality of suggested reasons to select the best point to support the claim.
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Announcing our 2015 limerick contest winners!

We had a lot of great entries to our contest and loved reading your many creative offerings. We also had the difficult responsibility of choosing between them! However, we are very pleased to announce our 2015 limerick contest winners! You did a great job. We hope you enjoy your prizes. 1st prize: Jack wins a $25 Amazon gift card! My dog is a very bad boy. He chews up all of his toys. But give him a treat, And he’s very sweet, Unless he’s in a mood to destroy. 2nd prize: Robert Re is getting a Booster bobblehead! There once was a colorful bug, His name was, ironically, Doug, He slept like a baby, And acted so hazy. He was really attached to his rug. 3rd prize: Julian Garcia, please enjoy your talking Mike the Microphone plush toy! I once had a pet named Fred he loved to chat and to be fed he loved to eat bugs and lay on rugs there was hair everywhere because he shed Thanks to everyone for your participation! Winners, we will be contacting you to get your prize.
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