Imagine Learning releases version 14

Imagine Learning launched version 14 today, the latest update to its K–6 language and literacy software. Version 14 delivers the latest in optimized, individualized instruction: interoperability between devices, improved instructional design, new activities for older beginning students, and the new student Growth Reporting tool.

Watch the video below to see all version 14 updates. Or, read the official press release.

What’s New V14 from Imagine Learning on Vimeo.



Imagine Learning Values: Be innovative and change our world

Imagine Learning’s second company value is to be innovative and change our world. We believe that to be a leader, we can never accept the status quo. We can never be comfortable. We are always pushing and exploring, developing and testing. We set goals that challenge us, because we know that by stretching to meet them, we’ll go farther than we ever expected. For us, being great today just isn’t good enough. We innovate to change our world.

At Imagine Learning, our mission is to open doors of opportunity by teaching language and literacy to the children of the world. We want to change the world by giving students the language skills they need to succeed. How do we do that? By being innovative.

But what does it mean to be innovative?

This is the wall of iPads hanging in our production area. These iPads are running constantly to search out bugs in our product.

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Teacher Highlight: Tips from a TESOL kindergarten teacher in Shanghai

Catherine Lamb is a teacher in Shanghai, China and is, coincidentally, my mother! The beginning of her teaching career started with the birth of her first child, and continued until her youngest (that’s me!) was preparing to leave the nest. She then returned to the workforce. She currently works as a Primary Reception (Kindergarten) teacher and grade coordinator in a British international school.

Because she is located in an international school in Shanghai, Mrs. Lamb’s students are often from many different countries. They speak many first languages but their knowledge of English varies from fluency to none at all. She has had students from Brazil, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Britain, America, China, etc. Her classroom is bilingual, and she team-teaches with a Mandarin speaking teacher; part of the day’s instruction is held in Mandarin and the rest is in English.

Mrs. Lamb, a teacher in Shanghai, China

Tips from the Teacher:

1. Repeat repeat repeat. Repetition is key with young kids. Don’t worry about boring them. The repetition will bring fluency and confidence. When I give instructions, I model them; I say the same line over and over and over and I circulate among the children. Sometimes I say something twenty-four times, “Johnny, now it is your turn to show us your living thing. Susy, now it is your turn to show us your living thing.” Repeat repeat. After the “reader of the day” reads, I always ask the same question: “Do you want to keep this in your reading folder or put it in the red bin?”  By the time a shy speaker reads, he knows that question is coming and what it means, so he will be ready for it and have a successful experience responding.

2. Follow a strict routine so they know what comes next. My students are tossed into a world where they can’t understand what’s happening. They are young too. Knowing what comes next comforts them.  Seeing the schedule and knowing when they will go home gives them a sense of security. Even now (when they’ve memorized the schedule better than I have) they look at it first upon arrival. If I haven’t updated it for the day they want to help me get it ready. They question any new items. One of my students was struggling with being away from his mom everyday, so every day at noon he’d go through the schedule with me to ensure himself he got to go home. The ELL students learn how to spell class subject names because they learn quickly what each word means and they know exactly where to find those words on the schedule.

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Best books for summer reading

On the final day of summer break last year, my daughter devoured Caddie Woodlawn.

Last week I wrote about the techniques I use to encourage my children to read. This week, I am sharing a list of our favorite books. Some of them are award-winners—but even better—all of them win the approval of my three unforgiving children. So pull out the hammock, spread out a blanket, or puff up a beanbag. These books are sure to draw you in!

0–2 years

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • Drummer Hoff, Barbara Emberly and Ed Emberly
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Bill Martin Jr.
  • Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
  • The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper
  • Good Night, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
  • Quick as a Cricket, Audrey Wood
  • Piggies, Audrey and Don Wood Read more »

Spring into Action contest winners

Over the past month, we have been running a Spring into Action contest for Imagine Learning teachers and school site experts. Teachers were asked to try our new Action Areas™ tool, and then tell us how it worked to enter a contest for an iPad mini. We are happy to see that thousands of teachers are now using the Action Areas tool! Drum roll, please . . . .

The new owners of an iPad mini are:

  • Kasi Davis, a site expert from Asbell Elementary
  • Raquel Jaeger, a teacher from Whittier Elementary


Congratulations to our winners! Winning an iPad is awesome, but knowing how to use the Action Areas tool is pretty great too. Teachers love the Action Areas tool because it pinpoints which skills students are struggling with and provides resources (printouts and activities) for immediate intervention. By grouping students together who are having trouble in the same area, the tool also forms instant intervention groups. So the Action Areas tool simplifies intervention. And simplified intervention means more happy teachers and more kids on track. Happy day.