Represent, Act, Engage: How Universal Design for Learning Works

NAEYC Week of the Young Child 2016 Imagine Learning print concepts ABC song (space theme) from free the aliensPeeked inside a typical classroom lately? If so, you’re likely to see one teacher surrounded by an increasingly diverse group of students–each with unique learning needs.

What’s more, that ‘typical’ classroom is filled with students who are anything but typical.

Colombia activity, Imagine Learning EspañolFor one thing, there’s really no such thing as an average student.

Each class might contain students who struggle with reading or math, students who don’t yet speak English, and students with disabilities. On the other end of the spectrum are the gifted students who may need more challenges to stay engaged.

How on earth can one teacher meet the needs of all these diverse learners? Read more »

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Imagine Learning Talks About the Common Core Standards

Common Core, Imagine Learning, state standards, advocates, opponents, CCSS, benefits, classroom, assessments, tests, fact or fictionAt Imagine Learning, we’re quite familiar with the variety of opinions surrounding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Although our own programs are aligned with multiple state standards (and not just the CCSS), we know what most educators are thinking on the subject. Here, we share a few of our findings.

What the Data Say

In August of 2015 a nationwide PDK/Gallup poll revealed that a majority of respondents oppose the teaching of Common Core. Interestingly, black and Hispanic respondents showed a lower level of opposition, at just 35 and 50 percent respectively.

In an earlier (2013) poll by PDK/Gallup, 72 percent of those polled indicated that they trust public school educators. But the same respondents also assume most educators oppose the CCSS, a view not aligned with the data.

In reality, 75 percent of educators support CCSS standards. Read more »

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Skip the Apples–Here’s What Teachers Really Want

Teacher appreciation, Imagine This, Imagine Learning blog, plastic letters, thank you giftsIt’s that time of year when eager young students come to class with teacher gifts in hand. Those gifts might be anything from a fruit basket to a plate of brownies to a homemade card.

Do teachers appreciate these gifts? Of course. But do they use them? Not always.

The truth is, most teachers are just happy to be recognized for what they do. Still, it’s hard to be completely thrilled by another “World’s Greatest Teacher” mug. Or by anything that remotely resembles an apple.

Top-rated teacher gifts can be simple

Parents should be credited for wanting to show appreciation to their child’s teacher. But instead of another scented candle, bottle of lotion, or expensive art piece, why not choose: Read more »

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Value 3: Let Passion and Belief Drive What We Do

value3What drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What makes you happy?

These are questions every person asks in their quest for a fulfilling life. Your passion may be spending time with your family, pursuing a hobby, learning new things, or your work.

At Imagine Learning, we strive to let our passions and beliefs drive what we do every day. Read more »

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Critical Thinking 101: What CEOs Want from Today’s Students

The Thinker statue by Rodin

The Thinker (Rodin)

It’s 2016, and every educator seems to be talking about critical thinking skills.

Students need critical thinking to succeed in and out of the classroom. Educators need critical thinking in order to help students get around common learning barriers. And CEOs want critical thinking from employees, so that they’ll also have problem solvers on hand.

Just what is critical thinking, anyway–and why is it so near the top of the hiring list? Read more »

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