Imagine Learning Teaches Figurative Language

figuratively speaking


Sleep like a rock

Light as a feather

Cream of the crop

As big as a bus



The above phrases are examples of figurative language, all of which are commonly used in day-to-day English.

Any student–especially any English language learner–can struggle with such figurative speech, particularly when the implied meaning (i.e., idiom) does not translate to the student’s first language.

The concept of figurative language is also difficult for struggling readers to understand, but all students need to be able to identify and use it in reading and conversation. Read more »


The Truth About Game-Based Educational Software

Math-facts, game-based learning,, GSL, Big Brainz, Imagine Learning, math fluency

Math-fact gamification

Ask a typical educator about game-based learning and video games in school, and expect at least some skeptical responses.

Many educators and parents worry about gaming as an educational tool.

Research on the educational worth of video games has been mixed, and some educators point out the fact that most data come from short-term studies.

While research on educational software is still young, increasing evidence points to positive outcomes for today’s students—despite the prevalence of headlines linking video games to bad behavior or lukewarm learning outcomes.

According to James Gee, an education professor at Arizona State University, blaming all video games for poor results is like blaming all food for the existence of obese people.1 Read more »


Jump into summer reading

One afternoon in June, I found my girls just like this. They had abandoned their water party for front porch reading.

While summer is a perfect time for children to relax and enjoy travel and other activities, it can also be a time for young minds to become idle. This period of learning loss has been referred to as the “summer slide.” But the only summer slide we want Imagine Learning students to experience is having fun on a slip-n-slide. So let’s talk about summer reading!

I have fond memories of childhood summertime reading. My sisters and I would read on a blanket under our large backyard tree, sprawled out on wet towels poolside, or in our gently swinging hammock. Since I recently inherited most of my mom’s large children’s book collection, my children are now reading the same books as I did. And many of the pages are spotted with evidence of summers past—greasy sunscreen fingerprints, dog-eared pages, and the occasional water spot.

So how do you create a summer of reading? The first step to encouraging a summer full of reading is to get kids to make a summer reading goal. Children can decide how many books, pages, or minutes they want to read. Involve children in this process so they begin with excitement. Most libraries offer a summer reading challenge and often include an incentive for completing the challenge. But if your local library doesn’t offer a summer reading program, you can always create your own. Read more »


Bryant Elementary making news

Students at Bryant Elementary are among the most dedicated Imagine Learning users in the country. They recently received the Top 50 Award for top-notch usage and were featured on the Sioux City KTIV News. Struggling readers and English language learners are using the program to increase vocabulary and practice reading skills. The school is committed to ensuring that students use the program for at least 90 minutes each week. Teachers even allow kids to come before school to have extra time on the program, and the hard work is paying off. Teachers say test scores show that the kids are making great progress. Congratulations, Bryant Elementary!

Watch the KTIV News story.


Study: students see 36-65% greater gains with Imagine Learning

SEG Study Executive Summary

SEG Measurement, an independent research firm, announced the completion of the first phase of a study of nearly 1,000 English language learners in grades two–five in a large California school district. Study results demonstrate that students in programs using Imagine Learning’s curriculum show greater improvement in reading than students not exposed to Imagine Learning software.

The study compared growth in reading skills of students who used Imagine Learning to comparable students who did not use Imagine Learning. Students used the Imagine Learning software for approximately six months between December 2012 and June 2013. Students in second grade using Imagine Learning showed 36% greater gains in reading than students who did not use the program. Imagine Learning students in grades three–five showed 65% greater gains in reading than non-users.

“Students using Imagine Learning showed statistically significant gains in reading skills and outperformed students who did not use Imagine Learning,” said Scott Elliot, president of SEG Measurement. “These findings are particularly important, given that students only used Imagine learning for half of the school year. More extended use of Imagine Learning may yield even greater gains for the students.”

Read more »