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Spotlight on Literal and Inferential Questions

Have you ever wondered why kids sometimes have trouble answering questions about what they read? Sometimes, it comes down to the question itself--and knowing the difference between literal and inferential questions.
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The Culture of Imagine Learning Español

Learning about España In Imagine Learning Español, young students have a great time learning to read in Spanish. As students begin their learning paths, they listen to letter and syllable sounds, sing along to captivating songs, and build reading skills in activities made just for them. But most kids are less familiar with how Spanish is spoken around the world. They might think that every Spanish speaker sounds just like them! The designers of Imagine Learning Español want to help young readers of Spanish appreciate the wider world that surrounds them. With this goal in mind, Imagine Learning Español includes cultural activities featuring Spanish-speaking countries around the globe.
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Language Acquisition and the Mathematics Classroom

A guest post by Linda Hardman President of Linda A. Hardman Consulting, Inc., teacher, and developer of multiple award-winning K12 math products 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 and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.   According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the percentage of English language learners (ELL) in US public schools grew in the 2012–2013 school year by 9.2 percent (i.e., 4.4 million students) compared to the prior school year. Additionally, a new Pew Research Center study reported that a near-record 13.9 percent of the US population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing here. A diverse group of young students Because of these trends, students are significantly challenged to master academic language across the US. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics are also placing high demands in mathematics regarding abstract and quantitative reasoning, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, and looking for/expressing regularity in repeated reasoning. Students and educators are even more challenged with the acquisition of academic language as a tool for mastering conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematical standards and practices. As a result of the increasing amount of ELL students and the challenges presented by the CCSS for mathematics, it is important for students to acquire both academic language skills and mathematical fluency. Moreover, the same essential reading components and first-language supports provided in reading classes also belong in the mathematics classroom.
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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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