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Announcing Our 2017 Limerick Contest Winners

Every year, Imagine Learning holds a limerick contest for budding new poets--and every year, the contest is harder to judge! Our 2017 Limerick Contest was no exception; we read so many wonderful and creative limericks that it was hard to choose a winner. In the end, our judges voted for entries that best captured the distinctive rhyme and rhythm of a limerick, along with those that were especially creative in following this year's theme: "My Favorite Subject." Congratulations, students--your limericks were amazing. The Winning Limericks Top prizes this year went to students of Carolyn S--by far the most entries received. Great job, students!
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Another Slice of Pi: Announcing Our Pi Day Winners

Our Imagine Math students are always game for sharing their learning successes with us. So, when we asked schools across the country to share their 2017 Pi Day celebrations with us, we weren't disappointed! Here are the winning Imagine Math classrooms and the creative ways they celebrated the biggest math day of the year. Thompson Elementary - Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (TX) In Ms. Crump's first block (homeroom) and second block classes, students created Pi Day posters that showcased the creative side of pi. Thanks for the inspiration!    Henderson Middle School - Vance County Public Schools (NC) At Henderson, Mr. Banaag's students made Pi Day into a week-long celebration, including
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Show Your Pi Day Power

You don't have to be a math geek to love Pi Day (March 14)--but it helps! Like many others throughout the world, the Imagine Learning family celebrates Pi Day with pie, from blueberry to lemon chiffon--the more flavors, the better. But eating a slice of pie is only one time-honored tradition on Pi Day. Fun 'Pi Day' Facts How much do you really know about Pi Day? Test your knowledge with a few fun facts:
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Hello, Sweet 16: March MATH Madness is Underway

Now that March has blown in, which schools have passed more math lessons than all the rest? Read on to see who made the Sweet 16 in our annual Imagine Math MX3 contest! Before our contenders can advance, they must compete in a new math challenge each week during March. Who will have what it takes to advance in our MATH Madness competition--or win it all? As past winners can attest, it takes an entire school to win the MX3 contest, now in its tenth year. But expect all the hard work to pay off. The winning school will receive an impressive trophy, school banner, gift card, student certificates, medals, and guest speakers--the works! Sweet Sixteen Contenders The following schools are contenders for our Elite 8 and Final 4 rounds.
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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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¡Canciones! The Music of Imagine Español

Have you ever caught yourself humming the tune to a song you heard years ago? If so, you've tapped into the power of music and long-term memory. The fact is, music makes learning stick. Just ask a neuroscientist. But first: a word or two on long-term memory. Inherent to long-term memory are explicit (or declarative) and implicit (non-declarative) memory. If you consciously think of a specific memory, you're tapping into explicit/declarative memory. By contrast, implicit/non-declarative memory requires no conscious effort. When the brain is exposed to music and words together, that information becomes a part of the brain's explicit and implicit memory. This helps explain why dementia patients who seemingly have little or no explicit memory can still remember tunes and words to songs they knew decades earlier. Imagine Learning designers recognize that developing brains are open to myriad learning cues from an early age. In a semi-literal way, young brains are like sponges as they soak up information from multiple sources. That's why during the development of Imagine Español learning activities, designers worked closely with musicians, actors, and sound engineers to create an optimal learning environment--one in which music plays a critical role.
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Math and Charitable Giving: The Perfect Sum

On any given day, at any given hour, somewhere in America a student is completing a math lesson on Imagine Math (formerly Think Through Math). But math isn't the only problem they're helping to solve. Ask any math teacher: math can solve real-life problems. Need to balance your checkbook? That's a math solution. Building a house? You need math skills to ensure a sound construction. And if you're donating to a good cause, math helps you calculate the bottom line and deliver the goods as promised.
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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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Congratulations, Journaling January Winners!

During January 2017, we asked math educators all across the country to send us their best student journal entries for Imagine Math (formerly Think Through Math). And we weren't disappointed! So what is "Journaling January" all about? In a nutshell, we asked student/teacher teams to send us an Imagine Math journal page that illustrated how students broke down a math problem and solved for the correct answer. Journaling January--Weekly Winners Through great teamwork, these winners took their math understanding to the next level. Congratulations to the winning student/teacher teams from these schools:
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Why Teach Academic Language?

Every day in American schools, teachers welcome more students whose first language is something other than English. According to the Pew Research Center, this demographic trend will only grow exponentially in coming years. In fact, Pew estimates up to 93% of our population will come from immigrant populations and their children by the year 2050. What do these numbers mean for schools? Here's the short answer: schools will need better ways to teach language generally, and academic language in particular. Why the importance? When students don't master academic language, they're at greater risk for falling behind or even dropping out of school. The Language of Textbooks Learning to speak, read, and write in English can be challenging enough. But without knowing academic language (e.g., general-instruction words like "summarize," math words like "times" as another way to say "multiplied by," or science words like "hypothesis"), English language learners can quickly fall behind in their progress.
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