About an hour before the school day officially begins at Battle Ground Public Schools’ Pleasant Valley Primary School, you’ll find the library full of students sitting at computers and wearing headsets. Some of the kids silently type and click away, while others happily sing or read aloud into a microphone.
These kids are in the school’s Imagine Learning program, where kindergarten through fourth grade English Language Learners, or ELL students, can come to school early to receive extra help in reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
Battle Ground Public Schools offers a wide spectrum of ELL services to students who speak English as a second language. The services assist them in becoming proficient in the English language and achieving academic and future success.
Pleasant Valley Primary has about fifty percent more ELL students than the average for schools across the state. ELL students take state assessments each year to measure their growth in English language proficiency, and Pleasant Valley Primary students perform significantly better than the state average. The 2017 assessment results show that 30.5 percent of ELL students at Pleasant Valley Primary have achieved English proficiency, compared to the state average of 13.5 percent in similar grades.
Imagine Learning is a computer-based program that offers more than 4,100 games and activities designed to teach critical English language and literacy concepts in the ELL student’s home language. Each child receives targeted instruction that continually adjusts to their learning needs and abilities.
Classroom teachers at Pleasant Valley use results from the Imagine Learning modules to teach students based on their individual needs. Kids love the program because it’s fun and challenging, and educators appreciate that it’s rigorous, effective, and is aligned with learning standards.
“These kids are tasked with quickly learning English and academic skills to meet state standards,” said Jeana Diaz, Pleasant Valley Primary’s English as a Second Language teacher. “Imagine Learning provides additional support for our ELL students, and we saw great progress in their English skills after just one year of using the program.”
Imagine Learning can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection, and students can check out the headsets with microphones as needed. This allows parents to get involved and students to get additional practice on language and literacy skills at home. The online learning format also builds computer skills.
With Imagine Learning’s Language and Literacy program, students advance through a series of interactive media presentations, videos, games and songs while collecting performance-based digital tokens called Booster Bits. These tokens can be used to customize their online avatars and collect virtual items to add to their learning museum. Collecting booster bits motivates kids to set goals, achieve new records, or even beat a high score in a particular learning activity, all while strengthening critical language and literacy skills.
“Imagine Learning is not just a game; it’s a whole program of support wrapped around students,” said Kelly Moses, Battle Ground Public Schools’ English as a Second Language Coordinator. “It’s a fun and engaging way for students to learn, and it’s also a powerful and efficient tool for teachers and administrators to support students.”