This week’s tip: managing classes
This week, our tip looks at how you can manage your classes.
On Sumdog, a class is simply a group of students. Teachers can be associated with more than one class - and students can be in more than one class.
This tutorial shows you how to create classes, change which classes you’re linked to, and move a student from one class to another.
Hope you find it useful! Remember, if there’s anything you’d like us to cover in these tutorial courses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Our new tutorial courses
We’re working on a new set of online courses. They will introduce you to Sumdog’s features, and help you get the most from the site.
The courses will be made up of a series of short narrated videos, each covering a single topic. Most will include some suggested actions.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing more of these tutorials, and linking to the full course.
Here’s one of the first tutorials - all about working with students.
In this video, you’ll learn how to manage your students’ accounts, including editing their usernames and passwords, and removing them from your school.
What would you like us to cover? Please email email@example.com to let us know, and we’ll do our best to cover it.
“I don’t think they even realize they’re learning”
A nice tale from the Milford Daily News, in Massachusetts.
They’ve been reporting on the success that 3rd and 4th graders at Woodland Elementary have had with Sumdog.
Woodland Principal Craig Consigli summed it up:
“I don’t think they even realize they’re learning, but this has been a great way to reinforce the skills they learn in class.”
Read “Online Program Inspires Math Students” on the Milford Daily News site.
Preview Sumdog’s questions
This week, we’ve added a cool new feature. It lets you preview questions for each of our skills without needing to play a game.
To try it out, go to the student homepage, and click the Mathematics panel on the left of the screen. On this page, go to “Training”, using the left and right arrows.
You’ll see a list of skills. Each one has an ‘i’ symbol in a blue circle to its left. Click this and you can preview the type of questions that are asked.
You can even answer the questions. Sumdog will show you when you get the correct answer, and - if you get it wrong - which answer you should have chosen.
Unfortunately, though, you won’t earn any coins for answering these preview questions: you’ll need to play the games to do that!
Tip of the week: set a Sumdog Reading activity
From February 10 - 14, we’re letting everyone use Sumdog Reading - free - for five days.
Sumdog Reading has thousands of English Language questions. To use them, students need to click “Reading”, on the left hand side of their homepage. They’ll then be able to select a skill to work on.
However, teachers can also set up activities for students, and use them to focus their work on chosen skills. Here’s a video showing you how to do this:
To focus the activity on Reading questions, make sure you click the “Reading” tab at the top of the activities page before you start.
You can use the “Edit Skills” button to choose what each student is working on. If you want to set the same skills for a group of students, check the boxes beside all of their names before clicking the “Edit Skills” button.
Once you’ve done this, they’ll see the activity on their homepage when they switch to Reading, and receive updates as they make progress.
Sumdog Reading: free from February 10 - 14
It’s almost a year since we launched Sumdog Reading.
Since then, we’ve added thousands of questions, covering skills as diverse as parts of speech, sight words, vocabulary and tenses.
Normally, you need a subscription to use these English language questions.
However, from February 10 - 14, we’re letting everyone use Sumdog Reading - free - for five days.
This video shows you how to play Sumdog’s games using English Language questions:
Teachers can also set up activities - such as competitions or challenges - or run a live class to focus students on the English Language questions.
Good luck! We’d love to know what you think.
Tip of the week: setting student skills
Sumdog does its best to adapt its questions to each student’s ability. However, on the skills page, teachers can specify a range of skills for each student to focus on.
First, choose some students; you can set a whole class at once, or - if you prefer - click the class name to expand it, and choose individual students.
Next, click “Restrict their skills” to choose what they’ll be working on. Again, you can click on a grade level to expand its contents, and specify individual skills.
We’ve recorded a tutorial video to show you how this works:
On the same page, you can select appropriate standards for the students.
Sumdog vs the Polar Vortex
A warming tale from Wynford Elementary, Ohio: Sumdog has been helping students in the grip of the Polar Vortex keep on learning.
In Ohio, the state alows us 5 “calamity” days. We can cancel these 5 days with no penalty; usually because of extreme weather.
Our district used 4 of these days before Christmas and because of this “polar vortex”, we used day 5. After the 5 calamity days, we must start making up days. For the first day (cancelled day 6) we are making up President’s Day.
For cancelled days 7, 8, and 9 we are implementing something called an E-Day, where our district has the students complete a day’s worth of assignments online.
Part of the math assignment in grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 for our district involved logging into SumDog. We had to implement day 1 and it was a great success! Our students loved it! THANK YOU for providing such a great resource.
We could use SumDog because I was able to track who logged in that day and could see problems correct / completed. It was the perfect way to teach math online. It met our needs and was enjoyed by teachers, students, and parents.
Thank you again for offering such an awesome resource.
Many thanks to Lesley Hayman for sharing her school’s experience.
It’s double coins week!
Everyone’s a little short on coins after the holidays, so we’re giving every Sumdog player a bonus this week.
Between January 20 and January 24, you’ll get two coins for every correct answer.
So it’s a great week to let Sumdog help motivate your students!
Sumdog Writing is here!
We’re pleased to announce that Sumdog Writing is now available.
There are three writing games at launch, and we’re planning more soon.
Sumdog Writing has some differences from the rest of Sumdog, so here’s a summary page that might help.
Winners share their story
Rachelle Cook’s class in Alanson, Michigan, came first in Sumdog’s Charlevoix-Emmet contest in November.
Here is what she has to say about their experience:
Our class loved participating in the local Sumdog Competition that finished last week. My 4th graders were asking to play it for homework as well.
I love that I as the teacher, can monitor what games they are playing as well as how they are doing on the math skills/games. My students know that I am checking/watching and that makes them be held more accountable and not just rush through the games.
What a fantastic website and we look forward to playing Sumdog throughout the school year.
Last call for the Holiday Contest
Our biggest ever contest starts at 8am this Friday, December 6, and runs until 8pm on December 12.
Every student who takes part - no matter what their score - will receive these three festive outfits for their on-screen avatar.
If you’ve not yet entered your students, there’s still time. Enter here.
We’ve got a helpful tutorial video that will guide you through the contest setup. It also explains how the contests work.
Sumdog Writing preview
We’re putting the finishing touches to Sumdog Writing, so we thought you’d like to have a quick preview.
We’ve recorded a short video that gives you an introduction to what Sumdog Writing is all about.
Remember - if you purchase Sumdog Reading before December 1, we’ll add Sumdog Writing to that subscription when it’s ready - free of charge.
You can get a quote for a Sumdog subscription here.
Sumdog helps improve accuracy
Susanna Dayton, a teacher at Mariposa Elementary in St. Lucie, Florida, wrote to us last week about her experience with Sumdog.
Here’s what she had to say:
I just wanted to let you know how much our students enjoy the games on Sumdog.
We have a student who was really struggling with math and his achievement was well below grade level. I set him up with a Sumdog account and encouraged his parents to allow him to use it at home. The first night he answered more than 900 questions with a 50% accuracy rate. The next week, his accuracy rate had improved to 55%. Three weeks later, he had answered nearly 4,000 questions and his accuracy rate had skyrocketed to 78%!
Thank you Sumdog for creating engaging math games that students love to play!
Festive avatar outfits!
Our biggest ever mathematics contest starts on December 6.
Every student who plays in the contest will receive three - yes, THREE - festive avatar outfits to wear.
Teachers can enter the contest here.