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Another reason why I love my job

One of the great things about being a videographer is traveling to places that you would never visit otherwise. I’ve rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous in an ornate Beverly Hills mansion. I’ve seen the devastation of Hurricane Katrina firsthand in New Orleans and Mississippi. And I’ve enjoyed a grilled brie and goat cheese sandwich at Nanny Goat’s Café in Kilgore, Texas. But as a videographer for an educational software company, I’ve derived even greater pleasure from seeing children use the software program that my company creates. As part of my job, I get to travel to schools across the country, where I film testimonial videos. It’s a thrill to see a child at the computer learning English from a video that I produced! When I visit schools and see computers being integrated into the classroom so successfully, my admiration grows for the educators who have the courage to implement our software into their curriculum.  Technology can be intimidating, but teachers across the nation and around the world are embracing the power of technology to teach. Teachers like Nancy Bergbower in Winona, Texas--a small town that's making big progress with Imagine Learning English.
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Thank you, teachers

At Imagine Learning, we are inspired by courageous teachers and consider it a privilege to work with them in helping their students succeed.  For World Teachers' Day, we wanted to do something special to say thank you to all the teachers who make a difference in students' lives every day. You certainly made a difference in ours. [flv image="/sites/institutional/files/blog/2010/10/Thank_You.jpg"]rtmp://sas-Flash.OnstreamMedia.com/ondemand/FlashDMSP/imaginelearn/Twitter/Thank_You.flv[/flv] Watch on YouTube We invite you to honor teachers who have changed your life by sharing their names or stories with us in the comments section.
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World Teachers' Day: Recovery begins with teachers

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast five years ago, many hundreds lost their lives. Thousands more lost their homes and jobs. What was a child to do in the midst of such destruction? A child who may have been missing family or friends. A favorite book. A safe, warm bed. Stability. Certainty. With so much loss, what could have brought some familiarity or normalcy back into those children's lives? In Pascagoula, Mississippi, recovery began with teachers.
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1,800 things that motivate my daughter to read

As parents and educators, we’re always looking for ways to get our children even more excited about reading. This is especially true if that child is at-risk, has special needs, or is an English language learner. For homework every evening, my seven-year-old reads out loud for thirty minutes. Thankfully, she enjoys reading for reading’s sake. But there are times when she needs an extra dose of motivation to get through that thirty minutes. Recently, I've found just the thing to get her motivated to keep reading. And I discovered it in the most unlikely of places. What is it?
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8 ways to celebrate National Punctuation Day with your students

Do you know what today is? Besides being a Friday, and besides being September 24 (and my brother’s birthday), it’s National Punctuation Day. Founded in 2004 by newsletter writer Jeff Rubin, National Punctuation Day is a “celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis.” To promote proper punctuation awareness, Jeff and his wife, Norma, maintain their website, nationalpunctuationday.com. They also visit elementary schools, where they perform a punctuation assembly. Their theme: “Punctuation is important in helping children learn to read and write with clarity.” Dressed as a caped punctuation superhero, Jeff shows kids how learning punctuation can be fun. So what can you do to make learning punctuation fun for your students?
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Announcing our funniest stories giveaway winner

Before we announce the winner of our funniest classroom stories contest, we want to thank everyone who shared their humorous classroom experiences. They were a blast to read! Check out all the entries in the comments section of this post. The winner of the $25 gift card is Tiffanie Brown with her story of curious students on a field trip. Congratulations, Tiffanie! Contact me at taylor.rose@imaginelearning.com to claim your prize. In case you missed it, here's Tiffanie's winning story:
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Should your ELs be speaking English at home?

There appear to be at least two schools of thought about which language English learners (ELs) should be speaking at home. While some encourage parents of ELs to speak English with their children, Judie Haynes makes a convincing argument for parents speaking their first language at home, even while their children are learning English at school.
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Translating the twittertalk: A beginner's twittorial

You swore you'd never do it, but you finally took the plunge -- you signed up for Twitter. Now it's time to make sense of the symbols and acronyms, so you can follow what's going on in your newly created community. We've put together a list of the most common Twitter terms, the schedules for some of the best education-related chats, and some tips and notes on Twitter etiquette to help you get the most out of your new account.
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Twitter: Trivial pursuit or powerful research tool?

Last week, one of our curriculum designers ran into a problem. She needed more information on using blogs in elementary school classrooms, but wasn’t quite sure where to go for resources on this relatively new topic. So where did she turn for help? Not Google. Not her trusty resource guides. Nope—she turned to Twitter. “Need help!” @Stacy_Learning wrote. “Anyone use/know how to use blogs in elementary classrooms?” Within minutes, members of her Twitter network responded with links, resources, and research. Five hours later, she’d heard from numerous Twitter users and been pointed to a plethora of resources. “People just started responding to me,” she said. “In fact, one user said, ‘I can help you. Here’s where to go, here’s who you can follow, here’s who you can contact.’” Like many educators and administrators, Stacy was initially skeptical of Twitter. “I thought it would be really trivial,” she confessed. But her experience with Twitter taught her that the website is anything but a trivial timewaster. Now, instead of seeing Twitter as superficial social networking site, she sees it as one of her most powerful research and professional development tools.
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Your step-by-step guide to getting started on Twitter

[flv width="608" height="362" image="/sites/institutional/files/blog/2010/09/Twittorial.jpg"]rtmp://sas-Flash.OnstreamMedia.com/ondemand/FlashDMSP/imaginelearn/Twitter/Twittorial.flv[/flv] Watch on YouTube Need help getting started on Twitter? We'll have you signed up, tweeting, and building a network of users who share your interests in no time. Follow the steps outlined in the getting started video above. Or, if you'd rather read along than watch a video, just use the steps listed below: 1. Sign up: Go to Twitter and click the large, yellow sign up button. Enter your information (the shorter your username, the better—most people use iterations of their real names) and sign up. You’ll have the opportunity to browse interests, find friends, and search for friends who are already using Twitter. Next, create a profile. When you finish signing up, you’ll land on your Twitter home page. At the top of the screen, click Settings. Then click Profile to edit your profile—the information displayed in the right sidebar on your Twitter page. Be sure to fill out the Bio section and list your primary research and professional development interests. This will help other Twitter users identify you as someone who shares their interests. When you’re done, click Save.
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