Master the parent-teacher meeting!

6 tips for parent meetings

 

Parent-teacher meetings offer a great opportunity to work with the parent or guardian on their child’s future progress. Going in with evidence and the tools to address and achieve progress can make this even more effective.

As children play, Sumdog learns all about their abilities and gaps, and can report all this learning back to you. You can also use Sumdog to target interventions and bridge the gap between home and school.

So why not take an iPad or laptop to your meetings, log in to Sumdog, and follow these 5 tips to enhance your outcomes:

Show what they’ve achieved

report card on ipad 2

Start positive and show skills that their child has already mastered. Click on the student’s name on your dashboard to view their report card.

If you have a Sumdog subscription you can click on the Hard Skills Report to show which skills the student has now mastered.

If you don’t have a subscription you can look at their Fact Families Report to show progress in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Look at what’s next

For any child, there will always be something they can work on and improve. Sumdog shows you the child’s focus skill, just click on their name on your teacher dashboard.

If you have a Sumdog subscription, you’ll be able to delve into this further and identify their hard skills, and their accuracy on these skills using the Class Reports.

Intervene together

challenges 2

Now you’ve looked at what needs work, you can work together to help the student address their gaps.

If you have a subscription, you can set up a challenge together for the student focusing on these skills. The parent or guardian knows what their child needs to do, and can encourage them to complete their challenge.

To set up a challenge just click on ‘Set work’, choose ‘Challenges’, and make sure to click ‘Set skills’ at the bottom. Click on ‘example questions’ to show parents exactly what to expect.

Bridge the gap between home and school

student-letters

Don’t forget, Sumdog is a great way to bridge the gap between home and school! Children can log in to Sumdog at home, using the same login details.

You can print off letters to give to parents, with their child’s login details, by going to ‘Manage students’, clicking on ‘View details’ next to the class, and choosing ‘Print parent letters’. Do this before your meetings so you can give them to the parent to take home.

Encourage parental engagement

Parents and guardians can get further involved by signing up for their own free accounts to track their child’s progress or play along with them! 

While parents are waiting to see you, have a device available so that they can play on Sumdog as a student and see what it’s all about.

If you have older students around, perhaps they could help parents get set up with their own accounts and show them what to do (note, parents will need an email address and access to set up an account).

Beyond meetings

Sumdog gathers data and provides evidence on an ongoing basis, so can be useful in any conversations you have with parents, guardians or other colleagues.

If you don’t have a subscription and want to try some of these reports and activities with your class, click here for a free trial.

Congratulations to the winners of our Maths Week Scotland 2018 contest!

1K3A1198

A huge congratulations to the P7 pupils from St Louise Primary in East Kilbride, winners of our Maths Week Scotland 2018 contest! We were delighted to join them at the Scottish Parliament for their trophy presentation by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

After the contest, we asked the pupils what they thought about it, and we thought we would let them tell you in their own words:

Neeve:
What did you enjoy about the contest?
I enjoyed the amount of teamwork we used and how we motivated one and other to do our best.

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
Well, I got more knowledge in various aspects of maths. Also I realised that anyone can do anything because our class of 26 won a competition including 5,600 classes.

Any tips you could share with other classes?
It’s not all about winning. We never even thought it was possible but motivating one another helped us all to reach for the stars.

Anna:
What did you enjoy about the contest?
What I enjoyed about the contest was the challenge and the teamwork aspect and atmosphere in and around the classroom. It was nice seeing our school name and class drop right into first place!

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
Some things I got from the contest are: Speed and accuracy are just as important as one another. I learned that teamwork does actually make ‘ the dream work’! Also pride in myself and my class!

Any tips you could share with other classes?
Tips I would advise other classes to keep in mind would be: as I said previously speed and accuracy are the main points, help your peers in any way possible! (it is not a challenge to see who is the best in your class). TRY to log on at home if that is possible for you!

Cerys:
What did you enjoy about the contest?
I enjoyed taking part and playing the fun games.

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
A lot more knowledge in maths (and a trophy)!!

Any tips you could share with other classes?
Work hard, be accurate but also speedy and help each other improve.

Any other comments about the contest?
I loved it and the feeling of excitement to watch yourself go up the chart is fantastic.

Fraser:
What did you enjoy about the contest?
Being able to play Sumdog non-stop and seeing how many questions you really answer.

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
A sense of achievement, of pride and completion, a proud family, also a membership for 6 months! (and burning eyes….)

Any tips you could share with other classes?
Try not to focus on speed, it’s how accurate that ranks you, not how fast.

Any other comments about the contest?
It was a great way to get people playing Sumdog more often and more enthusiastically. There should definitely be more of these competitions.

Sean:
What did you enjoy about the contest?
I enjoyed every day when our class came into school we seen us rise closer and closer up the leaderboard.

What did you get out of completing in the contest?
Trophy and a badge and to meet you and the Deputy Minister! And of course pride

Any tips you could share with other classes?
My only tips would be work hard and be so accurate

Any other comments about the contest?
Sumdog competition is so competitive and great fun.

Brodie :
What did you enjoy about the contest?
I enjoyed the games Sumdog had and it was really fun to compete against friends and watch yourself going up in the leaderboard.

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
Well we got a day out to Edinburgh and brand new games for 6 months so we can play new games and enjoy maths a lot more than usual, plus pride that I am from St Louise Primary.

Any tips you could share with other classes?
I would share that you should look at the question and be careful to answer but also be quite fast as you need accuracy plus speed to win.

Any other comments about the contest?
Not really apart from try your best in competitions and if you don’t win try try again

Aiden:
What did you enjoy about the contest?
I enjoyed working together as a class and winning.

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
Pride and excitement and lots more time in class on the games.

Caleb:
Why did you decide to take part in the contest?
Because I love maths and I wanted to win for my school

What did you enjoy about the contest?
What I enjoyed about the contest is watching our class go up on the leaderboard and winning

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
Winning isn’t important it is the taking part that counts and teamwork is important.

Luca:
Why did you decide to take part in the contest?
I love mathematics and wanted to win for my school.

What did you enjoy about the contest?
I enjoyed the intenseness.

What did you get out of competing in the contest?
I learned that competition isn’t all about winning.

Katie:
Why did you decide to take part in the contest?
At first our class didn’t join the competition intending to win we really were just playing normally. Then we slowly rose up the leaderboard and we got a taste for it so we began to non stop play sumdog until we got to the top!

 

Well done again to all the kids for their hard work!

We run regional and national contests throughout the school year, and they are always free, fun and fair.

To find and enter your class into the next contest, just log in to your teacher dashboard and click the pink ‘contests’ panel.

Maths Week Scotland is back for 2018!

Sumdog Poster PRINT QUALITY

We are really excited to be supporting Maths Week Scotland 2018! Maths Week Scotland is a government initiative to promote and celebrate maths and its importance in our daily lives, and runs from 10th to 16th September.

At Sumdog we are on a mission to help all children feel confident at maths, so we are delighted to support this great week of family fun!

Whether you’re a teacher, pupil or parent, there are lots of different ways you can get involved in Maths Week Scotland, from finding maths in the world around you, to joining in special events. Find out more on the official website.

Last year more than 55,000 pupils took part in our Maths Week Scotland contest, so we are running it again for 2018.

The contest is completely free, and teachers can enter their classes quickly and easily online.

Last year’s winning class was from Woodmuir Primary, and were presented their trophy at the Scottish Parliament by Education Secretary John Swinney!

Can your class beat thousands of classes across the country to be crowned Scotland Maths Champions?

 

Back to School Part 2 – get going with Sumdog

lets go 2

The new year has begun, and you should now have your Sumdog account ready to go.

Once you’re set up, it’s time for your students to start their practice on Sumdog, and for you to track their progress.

1.  Get warmed up

We’ve introduced a new Warm Up game! At the start of a session each student will answer a series of quick fire revision questions. This will happen automatically when the student logs in, and is a great way to get them warmed up and focused while boosting their fluency.

 

2.  Check diagnostic test results

If your students are using Sumdog for the first time, the first few games will make up a diagnostic test to place them at the right level against the curriculum/standards, and give them a skill to focus on. This can last up to 200 questions but is usually shorter.

To see each student’s diagnostic test result and focus skill, just click their name on your dashboard, or see the whole class be going to ‘Reports’ and ‘Diagnostic tests’.

If your students have used Sumdog before, you may wish to reset their diagnostic test to reassess their level for the start of the year. This will give you a baseline for each student to see how they progress over the course of the year.

Find out more about this here.

 

3. Track live activity

You can track your students’ effort and progress from your dashboard. Just log in and your main screen will show you how many questions your students have answered today.

Click ‘customise’ to change this to accuracy, number of correct answers or time spent.

Click ‘full screen’ and project it onto your white board to help keep your students motivated during the session!

 

4. Play along

Don’t forget you can always join in the fun and play along with your students. Just click the ‘play’ button on your dashboard.

Your students will love trying to beat you, and because every child works at their own level, they just might!

 

5. Enter our free contests!

Sumdog’s free mathematics contests are a great way to motivate your class as they compete against other classes either locally or nationwide. Every student works at their own level, and class scores are based on accuracy, so every class has a fair chance of winning.

We run a number of contests through the school year. To find and enter your contests, just go to ‘Set work’ and choose ‘Contests’.

 

Want a printable version of these tips? Download our handy tip sheet.

US version

UK Version

Head to our back to school page for more useful tips and features to make this a great school year!

Back to School Part 1 – get your Sumdog account ready for the new school year

5-steps-300-2

5 steps blog

The start of the new year brings many changes and things to do, including making sure your Sumdog account is ready for the year ahead.

Follow these 5 steps to ensure your account is set up correctly for a smooth start to the year.

1.  Make sure your technology is up to date

Chances are your technology will have some software updates to do after the summer break.

If you are using Sumdog on PCs and laptops, it will work best on Firefox or Chrome. We also recommend that your web browser is as up-to-date as possible.

If your class access Sumdog via tablets or iPads, make sure the devices are up to date and don’t have any software updates pending. If you are still using the old ‘Sumdog 2D’ app on your devices, download the newer ‘Sumdog’ app from the Apple or Play store for the best experience.

2.  Make sure your school settings are correct

Sumdog is aligned to a number of national curricula, as well as many key state standards. To check your school is aligned to the correct curriculum, log in to your account, choose ‘Settings’, then ‘Curriculum or standards’, and then ‘school curriculum’.

Note that changing your standards is immediate and applies to the whole school, and will reset the diagnostic test. Find out more about this here.

3. Remove teachers that have left, add teachers that have joined

Any teachers that have left the school should be removed from the school account, so that they can join their new school. You can also invite new teachers to join your account, and confirm any pending requests from new teachers. Just go to ‘School Settings’ and ‘Manage teachers’.

If you are moving to a teaching in a new school this year, here’s how to transfer your Sumdog account.

4. Set up your classes

To organise your classes, go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Manage Students’. You can add individual students or upload a spreadsheet.

If your students already have Sumdog accounts, make sure you tick  ‘Rearranging classes and/or changing year groups’, so that all their previous progress is preserved.

We can also integrate directly with your school’s information system to automate your classes and keep them up to date! We have partnered with Clever in the US, and Wonde in England and Wales.

If you’re using a different tool in your school, we may still be able to integrate. Get in touch to discuss the options.

5. Get parents involved

Once your classes are all set up, you can print parent letters for your students to take home, to help get parents involved in their learning with their own free Sumdog parent accounts. Each letter is personalised to include the student’s login details so you don’t have to spend time writing them out!

To print letters for your class, go to ‘Settings’, click ‘Manage students’ and then click ‘View details’ next to your class. Choose ‘print parent letters’ at the bottom.

Want a printable version of these tips? Download our handy tip sheet.

US Version

UK Version

Once your account is set up, it’s time to get going!

Introducing the Sumdog Warm Up Race!

We’ve made a bit of a change to they way students will use Sumdog, and we think teachers and students are going to love it!

Get warmed up!

Now, when a students logs into Sumdog, they will start their session with the Sumdog Warm Up –  a series of quick fire questions as they race Sumdog to the city. Answer questions correctly to go faster, get them wrong and Sumdog will get ahead.

warm up screen

These will be short revision questions, aimed just below the skill level that the students would see in the regular Sumdog games, enabling them to be answered quickly and fluently.  This will focus the students’ concentration, and help to get them into the right frame-of-mind for the rest of the session.

This is a great way to get your students warmed up and excited to work on their mathematics, spelling or reading. They’ll have fun trying to beat Sumdog to the finish, and of course will be rewarded for accuracy with coins, motivating them to get the answers right.

More engagement = more learning!

The Warm Up also gives students more practice time. During the warm up, we will load all the technical bits in the background, so when students then choose the games they want to play they will open quickly instead of taking time to load.

This means that students can fit in more practice in a session. They will be focused from the start, no waiting around getting bored!

Warm up

 

Teachers and parents can try it out by logging in to your dashboard and clicking the Play button.

The warm up is part of our ongoing work to improve the Sumdog experience. We are also making other changes to make our games easier to play and to reduce classroom disruption caused by technical issues, including the option to hide 2D games.  You can find out more about this here.

Introducing Sumdog Learners!

learners 1

We get asked a lot how much time children should spend on Sumdog. We always recommend at least 30 minutes per week.

And to reflect this, we’ve introduced Learners!

Now, whenever a child spends 30 minutes practising on Sumdog over the course of a week, they will receive a bonus of 100 coins. To keep them motivated, they can track their progress at the top of their screen. When they hit their 30 minute target, they unlock their treasure chest of extra coins!

learners 2

Even better, teachers can track all their hard work on the teacher dashboard!

learners_teachers

Once a child has completed 30 minutes in the week, you will see a green tick.

Don’t forget you can project your teacher dashboard onto your class Smart board, to give your class a little extra motivation, or download and print our free classroom poster to track your learners each week!

Sumdog-poster-180

 

US/Canada print version

UK/European print version

 

 

Logging in taking up a lot of class time? If you’re in the US you can save that time with our Clever integration, and teachers in England and Wales can integrate their registers with Wonde.

Closing the gap in Glasgow

Since August of last year, we’ve been working with Glasgow City Council to provide all school pupils from P2 to S3 full access to Sumdog’s digital learning system. We’ve done some analysis on the impact Sumdog has made towards our core mission to close the gap, and we are delighted with the results!

Our researchers studied the progress of pupils using Sumdog Maths for at least 30 minutes per week between August 2017 and April 2018, comparing the performance of pupils from the most deprived Glasgow schools with those from the city’s least deprived schools (defined by the proportion of pupils in each school eligible for free school meals). The aim of the study was to measure the impact of regular use of Sumdog Maths on closing the poverty-related attainment gap for numeracy.

The progress of pupils who use Sumdog Maths regularly was measured over the course of the academic year, with pupils using Sumdog for an average of 47 minutes a week. At the beginning of the school year in August 2017, the attainment gap between the least and most deprived schools was the equivalent of 1.1 academic years. However, for those pupils regularly using Sumdog, this gap had shrunk by 20% to the equivalent of just 0.8 of an academic year by April 2018.

Figure 1[36618]

For the purposes of the study, out of a total of 70 schools in the Glasgow City Council area, our researchers identified a subset of 35 schools, including 737 pupils from the least deprived schools and a further 684 pupils from the most deprived schools. Each pupil undertook our adaptive diagnostic test to determine their individual abilities, which resulted in every pupil being allocated a ‘Sumdog level’. The Sumdog level was compared at the start and end of the study.

Our mission remains to close the poverty related gap and help all children reach their full potential. You can read more about this report here.

New school year, new school? How to move your Sumdog account.

Moving school with Sumdog

Moving to a new school and want to keep using Sumdog?

It’s important to make sure you follow the correct procedure, to keep your data and your students’ data safe.

manage students

Do:

check Leave your old school! To do this, log in to your Sumdog account, click settings at the top and then school settings. Click ‘Manage teachers’, and then click ‘leave school’ next to your name.

Tip: if you can’t log in, a teacher from your old school can also remove you, but following the steps above and clicking ‘remove’ next to your name.

check  Join your new school! Once you have confirmed you want to leave your old school, you’ll be directed to join your new school. Search for your school by zip or postal code.

Don’t:

cross Add your new students to your old school. If you start adding students to your existing account, teachers in your old school will be able to see them and their data.

cross Create a new account for your new school if it already exists. Teachers in your new school can accept your request to join their account. Please only create a new school if you are absolutely sure that it doesn’t already have an account.

If no teacher accepts you, they may not have seen the request, or the account may be inactive. In this case do contact us at support@sumdog.com and we can help.

If you have any questions, just get in touch!

Good luck in your new school!

Spelling assessment word search is here!

choose words

We introduced spelling assessments back in January, and although teachers loved them, there was one thing you still needed to make them perfect – creating your own spelling word lists.

So we added it!

Now, when setting a spelling assessment for your class, you have the option to create your own word list, so you can match it exactly to what you have been teaching.

choose type

You can then search from our database of words to find the ones you wanted to test your class on.

spelling test

You can either search for a specific word, or search for words that fit a rule such as ‘ie’ words.

rule-search

You can reorder your word list to get it just right.

Reorder

Click the speaker button next to the word to hear what will be read aloud to your students.

read-aloud

There are already around 2500 words for you to choose from, with more on the way.

If you’ve got Sumdog Spelling, just log in now and try it out!

If you don’t have Sumdog Spelling and want to try spelling assessments with your class, just request a trial.