Adding new students to your school
For many schools, it’s the start of a new school year. If students who already have Sumdog logins are joining your school, here’s how to add them to your Sumdog account.
We wrote a few weeks back about how to remove students who are leaving your school from your Sumdog account.
Once students have been removed, they can apply to join a new school. To do this, they log in, and go to their profile page. Here, they can click the Settings link (at the bottom left of the page) and apply to join your school.
To identify your school, the new students need to type your school code. Teachers can log in and find (or change) the school code on the school settings page.
When the student has applied to join the school, a teacher will need to log in and accept them from the student page.
Once that’s done, the students are part of your school’s account - and they’ll retain all of their Sumdog progress from their old school.
Sumdog’s new lesson dashboard
Sumdog’s new lesson dashboard lets you monitor your class while they play Sumdog. It’s a major new feature that’s available to all teachers, even those without subscriptions.
When you log in, you can choose to set up a lesson. Choose the class, their activity, the start time and the duration, and you’re ready to go.
On the left of the page, status lights show what each student is doing:
- green shows they’re playing a game or on the homepage;
- orange shows they’re in the shop or on their profile page;
- red shows they haven’t answered any questions in the last 5 minutes.
Beside these lights, you can choose which metrics to view for each student: questions answered,
Live lesson updates
On the right of the page, we give you live updates as your lesson runs.
We’ll tell you about students who are answering quickly, answering slowly, mastering skills, having trouble or doing well.
We’ll also tell you when students start completing the activity, or when a student needs some new skills to work on.
We hope you like it! As ever, please let us know your thoughts.
Changes to Sumdog’s reports and activities
Until now, Sumdog’s progress reports have only covered students for whom your school has purchased a subscription.
After talking to teachers, though, we’ve made a couple of changes.
From now on, you can run up to 10 free reports covering unsubscribed students. (For subscribed students, there’s no limit on the number of reports you can run.)
On our new lesson dashboard, you can choose to view live data on unsubscribed students up to 25 times. (There’s no limit if your lesson only includes subscribed students.)
Finally, you can create up to 5 activities that include unsubscribed students. (Once again, there’s no limit on activities that include only subscribed students.)
Here’s a summary of what’s free, and what you get when you subscribe.
Sumdog and Single Sign-On
Good news for schools in New Zealand. We’ve been working with the Ministry of Education, and as a result they can now use single sign-on (SSO) to access Sumdog.
Regions that use single sign-on have a system that lets teachers and students log-on once to access multiple online services. This means that students don’t need to remember a different username and password for each service.
Schools in New Zealand can enable SSO for Sumdog, by visiting the school settings page (you’ll need to log in) and following the instructions.
We’d like to set this up for schools elsewhere, too. If you’re interested, please let us know more details - including contact details for your SSO system provider - and we’ll see what we can arrange.
Sumdog improves test scores
Some interesting comments this week from Victoria Sabelli, a teacher in Connecticut, who has been using her free Sumdog login to motivate her students.
She wrote to let us know that, since she started using Sumdog, she’s seen a measurable improvement in her test scores.
Here’s what she says:
I am a fourth grade teacher at John Winthrop Elementary School, in Bridgeport, CT. A school wide adopted goal for fourth graders is knowing multiplication facts 1-12. I tried hands on methods, timed drill, independent study, group study, and two other online programs.
The program that worked was Sumdog. My students had a forty-five minute lab period twice a week. They loved earning points, achieving levels, and customizing their own personal look. They competed with each other enthusiastically. I never once had a complaint of unfairness!
Here is the data. I gave 100 math facts 0-12 timed at five minutes on January 31, 2012. That was the end of half the year. Only 40% of the students got 70% or above. The class average was 65%.
May 16, 2012 I again gave them 100 facts 1-12 but only three minutes. The results were amazing! 88% of the students got 70% or above (only 3 did not). The class average was 86%!!
You should have seen the pride on my students’ faces after they corrected this test. None of them had realized the gains they had made.
I would recommend this program to any school or class that wants to increase students’ math drill skill. It is not just painless; it is exciting!
We’re keen to see how this develops, so we’ve now given Victoria access to Sumdog’s reporting tools, to let her monitor progress more closely. It’ll be fascinating to hear what happens next.
Congratulations to Wharton Elementary from Summit, Illinois, for being the overall winner of Sumdog’s first ever national contest!
The teacher who lead the team to victory, commented:
“We never thought we would have so much fun competing in the Sumdog Contest and learn so much at the same time! Thank you for the opportunity you gave us to show everyone in the nation how well we understand mathematics!”
A total of 362 schools from across the country participated in the national contest - they were all the top scorers from the recent statewide contests. Together they answered over 18 million math questions correctly in 5 days!
The top student in the contest was Ben from Hyde Park in Las Vegas, Nevada. He answered 87,213 questions correctly from a range of 253 different math topics! An incredible result!
Prizes were awarded to the top schools and students. All of the winners are listed here.
We’ll be running more contests after the summer break, so keep an eye on the website for details. You could be the next champion!
New schools, new students
…well, in the northern hemisphere, at least…
With so many Sumdog schools starting summer break, and some students moving to new schools, here’s how you can keep your school’s Sumdog account up to date.
If you have students who are leaving, you can remove their accounts from your school:
- Go to http://www.sumdog.com/teacher/students/ (you’ll need to log in);
- Choose the class you want to work with;
- Click “Edit”, above the list of students;
- Check the boxes beside the students you want to remove;
- Click “Remove” above the table, then “OK”, then “Save Changes”.
Once students have been removed, they’ll need to join a new school. We’ll keep their login working for 6 months, though, to give them time to do this.
If their new school doesn’t use Sumdog, the students can still keep their login active, by asking a parent to sign up for a free family login.
Next, we’re working on tools to let students join a new school. If students with Sumdog logins are joining your school, this will let them keep their password, progress and coins.
Sumdog’s summer challenge
We’ve set up Sumdog’s Summer Challenge, open to schools in the USA, Canada and the UK which haven’t yet purchased a Sumdog subscription, to encourage students to keep practicing over the summer break.
To complete the challenge, students must answer 100 questions correctly, on each of 20 days.
For each successful student, we’ll give your school a Sumdog subscription place until the end of 2012 - so you can use Sumdog’s premium features, such as reporting tools and reward challenges.
We’ll also reward successful students with 2000 bonus Sumdog Coins, which they can use in Sumdog’s shop to buy stuff for their avatar.
All you need to do is switch on the challenge for your school, and tell us the dates of your summer break.
First US National Contest
The results from Sumdog’s spring statewide contests are now in.
Over 150,000 students from across the US took part, answering 65 million questions correctly between them - an impressive effort!
Next week, the top schools from each state will be competing in Sumdog’s first ever national contest.
To see how schools are doing throughout the week, check out the national contest leaderboard here.
"How did I do in the contest?"
Several teachers have mentioned that after playing in a Sumdog contest, students often ask: “How did I do?” or “What was my score?”
Good news: we are now able to provide a contest school report which lists every student in your school who took part, together with their scores, their accuracy level and their overall position in the contest!
So, why not find out who the top students in your school were, and then reward them by giving them a certificate of merit? Here is a template you can use (under “Student Handouts”).
In order to access the report, all you need to do is contact us and ask for the “contest school report”. (Service available only to subscribers).
Get a free classroom subscription
This spring we are running statewide contests on the Sumdog website. Students take part by playing the free games.
The top schools from each state will then be invited to compete in the first ever Sumdog US national contest in May!
Get another school to play in one of Sumdog’s spring contests…
Sumdog contests are fun and we want as many schools as possible to join in. Why not email a teacher or a principal in another school, or give them a quick call?
…and we’ll give you a 12-month classroom subscription to Sumdog’s reports!
For every new school that you invite and that plays in one of Sumdog’s contests, we’ll give you a free 12-month classroom subscription to Sumdog’s reports (worth $60).
To claim your free subscription, fill in this form.
Help with editable student logins
Last week, we told you about our Quick Login system, which lets teachers customize their students’ usernames and passwords.
If you’re doing this for existing students, it’s best not to create new logins - they won’t be linked to the students’ progress data.
So if you’ve got a lot of existing students to customize, you can temporarily permit the students to edit their own login details, to get the job done quickly. Here’s how:
Obviously, it’s best to disable this setting again, once the students have updated their logins.
We’ve got lots more videos like this on our help pages. Hope they’re useful.
Statewide Contests: New Prizes
The Presidents Day Contests in February were a great success, so we’ve decided to run more statewide contests this Spring!
Students take part by playing the free mathematics games on the Sumdog website.
Exciting news: we’ve introduced two brand new prize categories!
The “Perfectionists" prize goes to the school that has the highest average accuracy overall. This is great for schools that can’t play very often, but play well when they do.
The “Busy Bees" prize goes to the school with the highest average of correct answers (counting the top 15 students only). This is ideal for large schools that find that their score goes down when new students in the school join in.
The winning schools from these categories will receive a certificate and a free 12-month subscription to Sumdog’s reports (worth $60).
Also, this time round, the top schools from each statewide contest will be invited to compete in the first ever Sumdog US national contest in May!
If you’re not competing yet, there’s still time to join - simply select your state from this list, create your free account and join the fun!
If you have any questions, or need help getting set up, please contact us or take a look at our contest help videos.
Editable usernames & passwords
This week, you’ll see a change at the top of Sumdog’s homepage.
We’ve had a lot of teachers ask us if they can edit their students’ usernames, so they match other login details used around the school.
So now teachers can also let their students use a new type of login: Quick Login. (Don’t worry, though, your existing logins will still work just the same.)
Each student’s password and Quick Username can be edited by their teacher, and by default, the Quick Username is shorter and easier to remember.
This feature is available on both free and paid teacher logins. To get started, read all about Quick Login.
Hope you like this new feature! Please let us know what you think, or tell us if you have any questions.
Last month 18,775 students from 256 schools across Canada took part in one of Sumdog’s free math contests.
Together they answered a grand total of 7,687,262 math questions correctly!
Good job to all the winners:
If you didn’t get a chance to take part, you can still play Sumdog - all of the games are free forever!