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3 ways to build a community for struggling readers

Sometimes all a struggling reader needs is a support group. But with all your students out of school, where can they get the support they need to keep reading? It's time to build a community.
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Revealed: what a hard-working English learner taught her well-intentioned but nitwit husband

Teachers of English learners face many decisions. They must decide not only how to teach these children but also how to interact with them throughout the day. So what happens when a student’s pronunciation or grammar is a bit “rough around the edges”? Should the teacher correct it? Or move on as if nothing happened? Lesson learned: as someone who married a sweet EL from the Philippines, I have a few suggestions based on fifteen years of happy marriage.
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Summer reading: Helping young readers find a "just right" book

Over the summer months, you may find yourself making a few extra trips to the library. Though your children will enjoy finding their own books, they are bound to choose some titles that are beyond their reading levels. Attempting to read beyond their levels may be fun for awhile, but can also become discouraging. You may be tempted to help choose the books they read in order to avoid this problem. However, allowing them to select their own books is extremely important.
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Anniversary contest winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our anniversary contest! We had a lot of funny entries so we thank all our readers who posted captions. The five winners chosen at random: Lisa, Jim, Carter, Eric, Paige The Judge's choice winner: #2- "Shark and Awe" by Charles To claim your Imagine Island DVD set please send an email with your shipping address to taylor.rose@imaginelearning.com.
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6 tips for teaching in a diverse classroom

How much do you know about the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of your English learners? According to one researcher, this knowledge plays a key role in successfully teaching students for whom English is a second language. In her article published in 2000, Arlette Ingram Willis says, “Effective literacy instruction builds upon the cultural and linguistic backgrounds, ways of making meaning, and prior knowledge that all children bring to the classroom. Such instruction also acknowledges the important role of culture in language and literacy learning. Understanding and respecting the array of different cultures and languages represented in their classrooms helps educators adopt strategies for teaching literacy that will encourage and support student achievement.” In other words, it is as important to know the student as it is to know the subject matter.
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Slowing the "summer slide"

You may have noticed that some students seem to lose academic ground over the summer break. Well, you’re right. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “summer slide,” can indeed affect student achievement levels in the fall. In fact, some students lose up to three months of reading achievement over the course of one summer. But while you may already be familiar with the affect summer sliding can have on student achievement levels, have you ever wondered how to stave off those summer learning losses?
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Imagine Learning birthday giveaway

June 15 is Imagine Learning's sixth birthday, and what's a birthday party without presents? To celebrate our successful past and bright future, we're giving away one Imagine Island DVD set (a $70 value) to six lucky winners. To enter, simply create a caption for one of the following illustrations in the comment box below. Be sure to include the picture number before your caption, so we know which one you’re referencing. Enter as many times as you’d like. We will announce six winners (one for each candle on our cake) on June 22, so check back here to see if you’ve won. First prize will go to our favorite caption, and the other five winners will be selected at random. So start submitting those captions -- the more you enter, the better your chances of winning!
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Imagine Learning celebrates six years of growth despite tough economy

After years of accelerated growth, Imagine Learning Inc. will celebrate its sixth year of operations on June 15, 2010. The Provo-based company’s headcount currently exceeds 135 employees. Yet, in 2004, the company had only started with 18 educational software professionals. The founders united behind a single goal: Use the power of technology to teach English to the children of the world. “We saw an area of the student population whose needs were not adequately met, and we knew we had the skills and experience to help administrators meet those needs. It was a mission we felt we were uniquely prepared for,” said Susan Preator, Imagine Learning CEO.
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Summer school survival

Summer is a time for barbeques, swimming pools, vacations, and lazy summer nights. But for teachers and students around the country, summer is also a time for something else: more school. Whether the students are struggling readers or just seeking enrichment, summer school can be a challenge for the best of teachers. How can you keep your students engaged and excited during summer school? We've got three new activities to help the hours fly by.
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Teaching to the letter

The cases are cracked and broken. The paper inserts are ripped and worn. It is obvious that the Imagine Island DVD set in Marie Lowry’s classroom is used frequently. Ms. Lowry teaches pre-K and Kindergarten at Miss May Vernon Elementary in Fate, Texas. And she’s tired of lending out her Imagine Island DVDs to other teachers. “My Imagine Island videos have gone through a lot because everybody wants them,” she says. “We bought it for our bilingual classroom, and the other teachers walked in one day and they fell in love with it. So now I have to share my Imagine Learning videos.” But she has an answer to her problem. “I’m ordering them for the whole district.” What is Imagine Island and why are early childhood education programs across the country clamoring to get more copies?
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