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We're head over heels for Booster's Valentine Creator

Share the love with your friends and family by using Booster's Valentine Creator. Booster's Valentine Creator is an interactive webpage that helps you create customized valentines—all with just a few clicks of the mouse. Here's how to put a little pizzazz into your valentines this year: Choose a character. All the Imagine Learning stars are here, from loveable Pete the Prairie Dog to chatterbox Mike the Microphone. Select a colorful background. Roses are red and violets are blue; we've got a color that's perfect for you. Pick a memorable message. Using the arrows above the card, select the perfect sentiment. Once you've completed your creation, download and print it, or email it to a lucky recipient. Teachers, be sure to share the love with your class, as they will be absolutely smitten by this fun, interactive activity. So put some heart into it and make a sweet valentine for that special someone. Happy Valentine's Day from all your friends at Imagine Learning!
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10 fun ways to use video creation in the classroom

Why not celebrate Digital Learning Day by instigating a video creation project in your classroom? Students enjoy working on video projects—they inspire creativity, allow for teamwork, and produce a final product the students can be proud of. Incorporating video projects in the classroom is one way to provide a rich blended learning experience for students. Divide students into groups to make a movie of a book they have read, retelling the elements of a plot. Or, ask students to create a video project about their favorite character or chapter instead of writing a book report. Create a song or rap video to help students remember math strategies, spelling words, or grammar rules. Turn student-written poems into artistically visual videos. Play charades by asking students to create a 30-second video. They can act out vocabulary words and have the rest of the class guess which word they represent. Design a movie about the history of your school or community. Have the children act it out. Produce a news segment of a special event, such as a guest speaker, a school 5K fun run, a beautification project, or a fund raiser. Ask students to highlight themselves in a one-minute get-to-know-you video. Invent a music video, using a song the students are learning in music class. Build a short documentary to explain a science project. Video is great to show time-lapse changes for experiments. Allow students to re-teach a unit using video. Students can create props and visuals to summarize what they learned about a given topic.   Useful Video Apps Many students now have access to iPods, phones, and tablets which are equipped with great, portable cameras for taking video. The following movie-making apps are useful, inexpensive (most are under $2), and can take your student-created videos to the next level: ScriptWrite, iMovie, Game Your Video, Action Movie FX, Time Lapse Camera HD, Movie Looks HD, Avid Studio, SloPro, FiLMiC Pro, TiltShift Video, and Scrolling Credits. Helpful Online Tools Masher is a fun, free, tool for creating video mash-ups. Masher offers large collection of video clips, music, and effects from their gallery. You can also add your own images, video clips, and music clips through the Masher uploader. Masher allows you to insert text throughout your video. Using Masher is simple: just drag elements from the media gallery into the timeline editor. From there, you can arrange the sequence of elements, and when you are ready, you can publish and share your production. Animoto is great for quickly making simple videos by using still images, music, and text. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto. Animoto's free service limits you to 30-second videos. By applying for an educational account, you can create longer videos. Stupeflix is a service that allows users to create video montages using their favorite images and audio clips. Stupeflix allows users to drag and drop their images into a desired sequence. You will want to upload your own audio clips as Stupeflix offers only one default soundtrack. But an advantage of Stupeflix is that it allows you to use more than one audio clip within the same video. Photo Peach is a new service that allows you to easily create an audio slideshow, with captions, from images in your Flickr, Picassa, or Facebook account. You can also use images saved on your local hard drive to create a slideshow. Adding captions is easy: simply type the text into the caption box. Also, changing the order of images is a simple drag and drop procedure. Xtra Normal is a unique service that enables students to create animated, narrated movies just by typing the dialogue then dragging and dropping characters and set elements into the movies. There are free and paid plans for using Xtra Normal, but the standard plan should be more than adequate for most academic uses. If your class uses these ideas or resources for making video, we would love to hear about it. What ideas do you have about incorporating video in the classroom?
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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."
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Happy Holidays from Imagine Learning

At this holiday season, we express profound gratitude for our dedicated partners in education. Thanks for making a difference.   Click on the card to see how doors are opening for children everywhere. (And you might want to grab a tissue.)
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New Action Areas tool allows for immediate intervention

Imagine Learning version 13 includes the new Action Areas tool—giving teachers the intervention resources they have been asking for. The new tool assists teachers by identifying which students need help and pinpointing the skills that are giving them trouble. Instant Data Equals Instant Intervention The Action Areas tool allows for immediate intervention by grouping students together according to their needs. The tool provides a wealth of supporting content that can be used for guided practice. And teachers can instantly launch Imagine Learning activities and printouts directly from the tool itself.
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Somali first-language support added

Imagine Learning recently introduced Somali first-language support. The new addition makes it easier for even more students to gain language and literacy fluency. As students use Imagine Learning and become more proficient in English, the language support gradually fades, preparing students for English-only environments. Imagine Learning now offers first-language support in 15 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Marshallese, Tagalog, Cantonese, Hmong, and Somali. Somali language support is just one of the many features included in the latest update, Imagine Learning version 13. Packed with new curriculum, iPad delivery, and the new Action Areas tool, version 13 provides language and literacy instruction better than ever. Watch the v13 video.
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Imagine Learning all-new for iPad

Imagine Learning has released an all-new iPad app designed to teach early literacy skills, and features new activities specifically optimized for touchscreen use. Putting early literacy right at your students' fingertips Imagine Learning is placing early literacy into the hands of students with the all-new app, Imagine Learning for iPad. The new app from Imagine Learning features rich media content and rigorous activities that have been specifically designed to help emergent readers. Imagine Learning for iPad takes core literacy components of Imagine Learning that schools have already used successfully, and puts them into the new format teachers have been asking for.
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Imagine Learning adopts Clever to ease data burden for districts

Imagine Learning announced today that it has signed a multi-year partnership with Clever, which will allow districts to integrate its award-winning language and literacy software directly with their student information systems (SIS).
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Imagine Learning approved for Georgia’s 2013 list of K–12 ELA Learning Resources

Imagine Learning has just been approved by the Georgia State Board of Education to be included on the 2013 list of K–12 ELA learning resources.
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It's never too early to focus on literacy

In Santa Cruz, Soquel Unified Elementary School District is taking creative steps to set up students for early success.
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