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How to Choose a Fun and Effective Digital Math Program

Let’s face it—not many kids are interested in reciting their multiplication tables or practicing addition when they’ve got video games to play, TV to watch, and technology to explore. Unfortunately, too many parents and educators automatically assume that video games are mere time wasters, as mentioned in our earlier discussion about game-based learning. Of course, sorting out the effective math games from the mediocre ones can be a challenge. Not every game is equal when it comes to producing lasting learning. So, what to do?
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Making the Case for Math Fact Memorization

A guest post by Ben Harrison Developer of Big Brainz math-fact fluency software 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. The following article was originally posted in February, 2015 on the Big Brainz Blog.   Every once in a while I encounter a savvy educator who is opposed to memorizing math facts--or at least he or she appears to be. Just today I saw a fearful article that exclaimed "memorization can inhibit fluency" and "memorization . . . can be damaging." Of course, educators are doing a wonderful job of championing number sense, comprehension, and problem-solving, but by attacking the vital skill of automaticity, they unwittingly undermine the very processes they intend to champion. From Where I Sit Before I go any further, let me jump to the punchline, because I know that if you're one of these educators, you're already getting ready to give me your very passionate point of view. So . . . if, as an educator, you have a negativity towards memorization, I would suggest that it's because you haven't seen it done well.
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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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3 Creative ways to help learners retain knowledge

The secret to soaring test scores may be as simple as asking your students to act out — act out what they read, that is. According to new research from two major universities, physically acting out text can help students improve their comprehension and their ability to make inferences — especially for struggling readers and English learners. Here’s how you can use this simple strategy to help students boost their scores on both reading and math tests:
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Success stories: Israa's story

As part of our One Year Later series, we’re sharing the stories of four students who have made remarkable progress with Imagine Learning English in just one year. This is the fourth post in a four-part series; read part one here, part two here, and part three here. Like Khalid, Israa was not part of our original filming plan when we visited Place Bridge Academy in November 2009. It was Israa’s teacher, Della Hoffman, who introduced us to Israa. She had moved to the United States from Iraq earlier that year and, in just a short time, had benefited significantly from using Imagine Learning English. Israa Back in November 2009, Ms. Hoffman led us to the computer lab where Israa and her class were using Imagine Learning English. While it is not uncommon to hear students talking and singing, blissfully unaware of their surroundings as they listen to the computer through headphones, I remember walking into that room and immediately hearing one student singing louder than the rest: Israa.
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