Free mathematics software worth $750 (£450)
As it’s coming to the end of the school year for many of our Sumdog users, we’re running a short - and very special - offer.
If you purchase a subscription for 100 or more students during May, we’ll give you a licence for our sister software, Yenka Mathematics, completely free.
Yenka Mathematics normally retails for $750 (or £450). It lets
you experiment with 3D shapes, coordinates, probability and statistics.
For example, join shapes to make a cube net, and fold it on-screen to see if it works. Or track down coordinates to find buried treasure. Or flip coins while Yenka counts graphs of how many heads and tails there were.
Yenka’s a fun way to model mathematics in 3D, and can be used from grade 3 upwards.
If you’d like to secure your school’s copy, start by getting a Sumdog subscription quote.
Free English Week has started
Normally, Sumdog English is only available to subscribers.
However, for one week only, everyone can use Sumdog English free of charge (unless you’re in the UK - your Free English Week will come in June).
Students simply need to log in and go to their homepage, and then click on the green panel below Sumdog.
This lets them choose the English skills.
There’s more information on Free English week here. Hurry, though - it’ll only be freely available to unsubscribed users until May 10!
A little help at the end of the school year
Over recent weeks, we’ve added some useful new features to Sumdog.
They’re designed to help with managing your student accounts, especially at the end of the school year.
You can now upload a list of students - and Sumdog will check for matches against your existing students. For any students who match, we’ll update the data.
So it’ll be much easier to move a group of students to a new class or grade level, for example.
We’ve recorded a quick tutorial video to help you use them - hope you like it!
It’s that time again… Free English Week!
We’ve heard from a few schools who missed out on our first Free English Week, during February. So we’re running another next week, from May 6 - 10.
Normally, students need a Sumdog English subscription to use Sumdog’s new English language questions. (This is different from Sumdog Mathematics, where games are free to play, and you only need a subscription if you want to access the reporting and activities.)
During Free English week, though, anyone can try Sumdog English free of charge. (Unless you’re in the UK - in which case your Free English week will be in June.)
If you tried it last time around, it’s worth having another go: we’ve added loads of new questions, including some picture questions for younger users.
Find out how to try Sumdog English here. Hurry, though - it’ll only be freely available to unsubscribed users until May 10!
Student achievement certificates
It’s been a busy year on Sumdog with millions of students working hard to answer almost 3 billion questions.
To recognize this, we’re producing a special personalized certificate of achievement.
Each student who takes part in one of our local or national contests from April 26 onwards will qualify for their own certificate, which includes details of the student’s progress over the year.
Teachers will be able to download them and print them off for the students as soon as the student has played.
To join a local or national contest so your students can get this certificate, click here.
If you’ve got a Sumdog teacher account and your students have played in one of these contests, download their certificates here!
Play in a contest: special Junk Pile game and great prizes!
Thousands of schools have enjoyed taking part in Sumdog’s mathematics contests this year.
Now there is an extra reason why your school should take part:
Until the end of May, we’re giving every student that competes in a local or a national contest a special edition of the popular Junk Pile game. There are 3 different kinds to collect!
Also, there is a fantastic end of year prize up for grabs for each US school that makes it to the top of their state’s leaderboard.
Enter now and join in the fun!
More on grammar, punctuation and spelling
Last week we mentioned how useful Sumdog English could be for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (SPaG) tests.
We received these nice comments from a teacher at Seaside Primary, in West Sussex, who’s doing just that:
“I am a Year 6 teacher and Sumdog English is a great way for the children to practise for the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling test at home.
“We set individual targets for different sets and they love trying to reach the goal. Keep it up!”
If you’d like to see Sumdog English in action, you might find our introduction videos helpful.
Also, it would be great to hear how you’re using Sumdog English - please let us know any good stories!
Sumdog and SPaG tests
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been adding new questions to Sumdog English.
Many of these questions have been designed to help students practise for the new Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) tests that many UK schools are taking in May.
The key areas from the Grammar, Puncuation and Spelling Framework that are now covered include:
Features of sentences
- Subordinating connectives
- Tense agreement
- Subject-verb agreement
- Use of “I” and “me”
- Singular and plural
- Capital letters
- Full stops
- Question marks
- Exclamation marks
And our 50% introductory price for Sumdog English will still be available until April 30 - so it’s a great time to give Sumdog English a try.
Click here to find out more about Sumdog English, and watch our overview video.
And please let us know what you think!
Snowball is now free to everyone!
This week, we’ve released Snowball to all users. (Until now, only subscribers could play it.)
A pack of evil chihuahuas are sledging towards you, and the only way you can stop them is by launching snowballs at their sledge.
And the only way you can get snowballs is to answer questions.
Good luck out there… and don’t forget your gloves…
What we’ve been up to…
March has been a busy month here at Sumdog. Here are a few of the things we’ve been doing.
There’s a new game - Animals. Currently, it’s only available to subscribed students, but it’ll be rolled out to all users in a few months.
When you answer a question, you’ll get an animal. Each round has a characteristic - strength, speed, cuteness and so on - and you need to combine the animals to rank highest.
Don’t worry if the animal you get isn’t strong or fast or cute enough, though: just give it to your opponents…
We’ve rolled friends out to all users. Students can set up a link to their friends on their homepage, which simply lets them see when they’re online, and invite them to play a game.
Friends are great for your students to arrange to play their classmates. If you’re wanting your students to play in a different way, though, you can simply disable friends during school hours on the school settings page.
And we’ve added several thousand questions to Sumdog English - and there are many more to come. We’re planning some interesting new varieties, too, so watch this space!
As ever, we’d love to hear your suggestions, so please contact us if we can help with anything.
Sumdog’s contests encourage teamwork
Teacher Amy Madden at Lyndale Secondary College is “incredibly proud” of her students in 9A and 7A who “tried their best and managed to win the national competition in early March 2013”.
Her students “LOVE Sumdog and are thoroughly enjoying playing the games and competing as a school in the national competitions”.
And the best part is that, ’in addition to improving their confidence and skills in mathematics, there is a growing sense of teamwork among the students who choose to participate’.
Lyndale Secondary College was the overall winner in Sumdog’s first Australian national contest, which saw 55 schools answer over 870,000 questions in one week.
Sumdog’s contests are completely free. Visit here to find out how to join in the fun!
Sumdog during morning tea and lunch time as well!
At the beginning of March, 52 schools took part in New Zealand’s first Sumdog national contest. Together they answered over 950,000 maths questions!
Students at Royal Oak Intermediate in Auckland were excited to win the contest.
Teacher Lucia said:
“I was surprised that my class came first in the national competition. I had high expectations for our class and I pushed my students to achieve to come at least in the top 10. Once we heard that we came first we were all very happy and excited.”
However, the fun doesn’t stop now, as most of Sumdog continues to be free even after the contest is over!
Lucia is already experiencing this, with her students enjoying “Sumdog during morning tea and lunch time as well”.
And, due to popular demand, we’re running more national contests, starting this Friday. Schools in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and US, can sign up here.
Look-Alike Contest at Oak Hill
The 4th grade students at Oak Hill Elementary in Overland Park, Kansas, had a fantastic idea at the beginning of this week: run a Sumdog Avatar Look-Alike Contest!
Here are the three teachers who took part in the challenge.
And here is what teacher Betsy McKnight has to say about the experience:
“I was browsing on your site a few weeks ago, and found the blog. I saw a post about the avatar party at Huber Ridge and suggested it to my teammates. They were immediately on board, so we just needed to get our ducks in a row to make it happen. Our kids start Spring Break on March 14th, so we hoped this would be a fun activity before they left AND it would give the kids an opportunity for some last-minute Math practice before our state assessments when they return.
We sent home informational notes, and sent the kids on their way over the weekend to play and earn as many coins as possible. The three teachers in our grade level also spent much of our weekends on www.sumdog.com to earn enough coins for the cute outfits we had hoped to wear to the party on Monday. The students came to school Monday morning with the same hair-dos, clothes, accessories, and shoes as their Sumdog avatars. I couldn’t believe how similar they looked!
We sat on the computers and laptops and played Math games on the site during our regular Math block that morning. The teachers figured out how to add our students as friends so we could have a little friendly competition. (I’ve even found a few kids online after school and challenged them to a Junk Pile battle!) My class asked if we could have a Look-Alike Contest, and I thought it was a great idea. I logged in as each of my students and had them stand in front of their “twins” on the SMARTboard. Each student got to vote for their top 2 look-alikes!
… thanks for providing hours of fun!”
We love it when schools think outside of the box! Contact us, to share your Sumdog story.
Sumdog English: still rather good value…
Our special February offer for Sumdog English has now closed, and we’d like to thank the many schools who have already purchased subscriptions for the new service.
In the coming months, we’ll be adding a huge amount more to Sumdog English, which is why the price is having to rise.
However, throughout March, you can still lock in an excellent introductory discount - 62% off the price we’ll be charging for Sumdog English later in the year, when you buy alongside our Mathematics subscription.
If you want to get an idea of the price for your students, try our new quote calculator; and if you have any questions about Sumdog English, just let us know.
Here’s a quick introduction to what Sumdog English offers:
Happy birthday, Sumdog!
This weekend, Sumdog is 3 years old.
In dog years, that’s 25 - old enough to drive a car (although we’ve not told him that yet).
In the last 3 years, over 4 million students have signed up to play Sumdog.
Between you, you’ve answered over 4 billion questions. That’s an amazing effort.
To say thank you for keeping him company this far, Sumdog has asked us to give double coins for any correct answers you give throughout the rest of March.
So it’s a great time to get playing - and then get shopping!