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Spotlight on Literal and Inferential Questions

Have you ever wondered why kids sometimes have trouble answering questions about what they read? Sometimes, it comes down to the question itself--and knowing the difference between literal and inferential questions.
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Slowing the Summer Slide--Part I: Literacy

Summer is nearly here! While kids may be rejoicing about the prospect of a summer break, parents and educators may wonder what they can do to combat the dreaded "Summer Slide"--a time when many students lose or forget the skills they learned during the school year. As all educators know, kids who are already below grade level in their reading are especially at risk when summer break hits. Summertime and the Reading Is Easy? During the school year, struggling readers may receive more hands-on help from teachers and supplemental digital programs like Imagine Language & Literacy. But all bets are off once kids leave for the summer break. For one thing, not all parents have the luxury of being at home with kids during the summer months. What's more--daycare, summer camps, and even summer school can be expensive for a lot of families. Even parents who work may not have the means to fight the summer slide in the traditional ways. So, what's a parent to do?
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Imagine Learning Teaches Figurative Language

  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.
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The Truth About Game-Based Educational Software

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
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Earth Day Is Here--Are Your Students Ready?

Photo credit: Blue Marble Just when spring fever hits hard in classrooms across the country, Earth Day 2016 appears as a welcome friend on the horizon. How will you and your students celebrate Earth Day this Friday, April 22nd? Read more about the history of this important event before you decide. Why Earth Day? After a Wisconsin senator witnessed firsthand the toxic effects of a Santa Barbara, CA oil spill in 1969, he knew it was time to rally the public, inspiring all to protect the earth's environment. On April 22, 1970, the first-annual Earth Day was born. At the time, over 20 million people across America rallied for a cleaner environment. Year by year, participation increased and Earth Day events became more popular. When Earth Day went global in 1990, it was celebrated by over 200 million people worldwide. Each year, many important changes occur because of Earth Day celebrations. For example:
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