ImagineLearning English
[Imagine Learning, Inc. (801) 377-5071]

         For pre-kindergarten to 5th grade,
ImagineLearning English is one of the most engaging programs we've seen for English Language Learners.  Winner in the EDDIES Early Elementary ESL category, ImagineLearning English could be used both nationally and internationally with struggling readers, special education classes, preschool, and even afterschool programs.  The high quality graphics and sound, delightful cast of characters, and entertaining lessons (disguised as games) are sure to captivate and motivate even the most reluctant learners.
         The program's  approach is defined by the acronym S.M.A.R.T., meaning Strategic language support, Measurable gains, Academic language, and Tutoring technology.  By providing high-quality scientifically-based instruction, ongoing student assessments, tiered instruction (class, small group, and individual) and parental involvement,
ImagineLearning English targets the essential skills of literacy, vocabulary development, listening and speaking.  Language support in twelve languages (from Arabic to Vietnamese) eases the new learner gently into English, and reward certificates and parental contact can be in the same support language.
         Describing all the activities is arduous with over 2,500 in Level 1 alone. Students initially take a placement test and are automatically assigned appropriate activities, so the natural instinct to play one favored 'game' over and over is thwarted.  Students participate in Letter Activities, Phonemic Awareness, Conversational Videos, Vocabulary, Listening Comprehension, Songs, etc.
         ImagineLearning English hits all the marks, and is clearly a winner.

Reading Plus
[Taylor Associates (800) 732-3758]

         A leading contender in the 'must have' category for schools this year, Reading Plus has really stepped up.  Winner of our Multi-Level Reading Website award, Reading Plus is so vastly improved, it has also won the High School Reading Website award.
         Designed for students from elementary through post-secondary, every student (and semi-literate adult) who struggles with reading, whether beginning, emergent, remedial, or on-track, will benefit greatly from
Reading Plus.  And considering the issues facing schools today, the program could well be the answer to a multitude of woes.
Reading Plus builds on research begun in the 1930s, when reading fluency was first recognized as key to literacy and speed.  That research was used to develop instructional technologies, became the basis of 'speed reading' courses, but was never successfully integrated into the classroom.  Reading Plus brings that technology and research into the 21st Century with the use of the Visagraph, a device which measures individual visual and perceptual skills, and the RPA--Reading Placement Appraisal--which prescribes the appropriate level from which a student can begin remediation, and makes it all available on an all-inclusive, flawlessly designed website.
         Reading Plus includes hours of teacher inservices, 'just in time' videos, well-designed motivational frameworks, and teacher tools (management, site use & progress reports, class & student reports, and district status reports). It can also be used at home, in a single classroom, school-wide or district-wide. 
         Improving sustained silent reading may well be the single-most important answer to increasing reading fluency across the curriculum and across the country, raising test scores, graduation rates, and post-secondary attendance.  The
ComputED Gazette recommends that educators take a good, long look at Reading Plus.

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