Category Archives: Uncategorized

6 ways to beat the summer slide

6 ways to be the summer slide

beat the summer slide

The summer slide may sound like fun, but in fact research has shown that children can lose a lot of their mathematics and literacy proficiency in the long summer break, meaning the first few weeks of the new school year are often spent catching up on everything that’s been lost.

But the effects of the summer slide can be slowed or halted if children are involved in a range of learning activities over the break. And there are lots of ways to make this feel like fun!

Here are some of our top tips that you can send home with them:

1. Get a library card

Public libraries offer all the books a kid could possibly want – for free! Send home a reading list they can choose from, or let them choose themselves. Encourage parents to read with the child and to discuss the books they’ve read. Libraries also provide free internet and access to computers, and often run their own reading programs.

2. Go grocery shopping

They can practice their reading while finding the right ingredients, and use mathematical skills in working out quantities and money.

3. Get outdoors

Get out and about in parks, gardens or anywhere you can, and collect outdoor items such as stones, leaves, sticks and flowers. Use them to create patterns and shapes, or for simple arithmetic for younger children.

4. Get cooking

Involving kids in cooking can be great (if messy) fun. They can read the recipe lists, working out quantities and timings, and feel proud of the tasty treat they have produced. Plan what you’ll need before your trip to the grocery store for extra engagement and project learning.

5. Get on Sumdog

We’re here to help you beat the summer slide! Sumdog can be used at home or in libraries, so kids can keep up a bit of practice over the summer. Every week where a child completes 30 minutes of practice we’ll reward them with 100 bonus coins! Find out more about beating the summer slide with Sumdog.

6. Play family games

As well as providing important family time, board games that involve any kind of math or counting, or word games like Scrabble or Bananagrams, can help keep skills fresh while having fun.

Got any of your own ways to keep learning up over the summer? We’d love to hear them! Just comment below.

5 fun ways to take the stress out of tests

 

5 fun ways to take the stress out of tests

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However you feel about it, standardized testing is a part of many education systems around the world. Testing obviously comes with extra pressure for teachers and learners alike, but there are many ways to ease the pressure and reduce the stress of testing.

Having some fun in the classroom is one way of making this difficult time of year a little easier. It can release positive endorphins, momentarily distract from pressures, and bring a sense of togetherness.

Here are some of fun activities to try in the classroom, that can also help with test practice and performance:

1. Just dance

Exercise is shown to help clear the mind and reduce stress, and makes a nice break from studying. Dancing is easy to do in the classroom, and will probably cause a lot of laughter too. You can find lots of videos on YouTube to dance along to. As a bonus, dance to some motivational tracks that will get the children feeling ready to take on the world.

2. Gameshow

Turn test practice into a gameshow by adapting a popular format, such as Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune or Who Wants to be a Millionaire. For older students, get them to create the questions, reinforcing their own learning. Have children compete in teams to reduce individual pressure.

3. Snowball fight – no snow needed!

Write quiz questions on bits of paper, scrunch them up, and use them for a snowball fight in the classroom! After a minute or two, call time and get each student to pick up a snowball and answer the question. Keep going until you run out of snowballs!

4. Sing along

Work together as a class to write songs – or even raps! – around key facts, coming up with funny rhymes or associations. Turning facts into songs will then help their recall when they sit the tests.

5. Pass the parcel

Wrap a bag of candy inside multiple layers of paper. Hide quiz questions between layers of paper, as well as some little treats along the way, and have kids pass the parcel around as you play music. When the music stops, whoever is holding the parcel rips off a layer and reads out and answers the question.

Bonus: Practice on Sumdog!

Sumdog is directly aligned to key standards and curricula, so can be used to practice for tests in an engaging environment that provides instant rewards for hard work. Students can work on key skills while still having fun.

Do you have other fun ways of reducing stress in your classroom? We’d love to hear them!

Get ready for the Glasgow City Contest!

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The Glasgow City maths contest begins on 16th March, and we are inviting classes from across Glasgow to take part, in order to win a coveted Sumdog Maths Champions trophy!

Classes compete as a team, answering maths questions while having fun with Sumdog. They can play at school or at home.

Because every pupil plays at their own level, and are rewarded for accuracy, everyone has a fair chance of winning.

The last Glasgow contest was won by Mrs Scott’s P6/7 class at Sandwood Primary, pictured above. We visited them this week to find out what they love about Sumdog.

The whole class was super excited to tell us why they think every class should enter the contest. Here are some of our favourite quotes:

 

“You are learning but in a fun way.”

“It increases your maths skills and you can improve your accuracy.”

“It makes you brilliant and bright!”

“It is educational and fun and you get better at maths.”

“You can take the learning from home back into the class.”

“Addictive and educational!”

“Your class works as a team…Teamwork makes the dream work!”

 

You can or find out more about our regional and national maths contests here, or enter a class by clicking the Contests button on your teacher dashboard to find a contest in your area.

Contests are free and anyone can join in!

 

Sumdog + Clever = more time for teachers and students!

Clever Sumdog Partnership

We are hugely excited to announce that we have partnered with Clever in the US to offer both instant login and automatic rostering, so we can help you save time in the classroom!

Clever is already used by half of US schools and provides an invaluable service to educators by helping them organise, utilize and manage the wide range of technology used in schools and classrooms.

Sumdog is one of the first tools to offer Instant Login with a free app on Clever! Get Sumdog added to your students’ app trays on Clever, and they will only need to sign in to Sumdog the very first time they use it. After that, they’ll be able to log straight in.

Clever’s own research shows that up to 15 minutes of class time can get used up just trying to get students logged in. Our Single Sign On integration, combined with Clever’s unique badges for younger students, mean students can get logged in straight away and put that time into learning instead.

Even better, add on auto-rostering and we’ll link with your roster so that your classes are automatically set up in Sumdog and kept up to date. Students won’t even have to log in that first time, and educators don’t have to waste teaching valuable hours on admin!

We are delighted to be able to offer this service across the US to help teachers spend more time teaching, and students spend more time learning. For us it’s another essential step in our mission to close the achievement gap.

Contact your district administrator to get Sumdog added to your Clever portal!

If you have any questions, check out our help pages, or get in touch at support@sumdog.com.

Maths Week Scotland Contest – what a week!

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Pupils across Scotland answered an amazing 16,827,720 questions during our Scotland-wide contest for Maths Week Scotland! Well done to everyone who took part!

It was great to see 4900 teams across 860 schools getting involved and having fun with maths.

Huge congratulations to the winning team at Woodmuir Primary! They came top with an average accuracy score of 94.3%. We were delighted to join them at Holyrood, where Deputy First Minister John Swinney presented their special trophy.

John Swinney presents Woodmuir Primary with Sumdog trophy
Winners of Sumdog’s Maths Week Scotland contest, Woodmuir Primary, are presented with their trophy at Holyrood by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

We can’t wait to get involved in Maths Week Scotland again next year!

Until then, we’ve got lots of regional and national contests running. Join in for free here.

Maths Week Scotland is coming up…

Remember to enter Maths Week Scotland’s Sumdog contest!

Everyone is encouraged to take part in the Scottish Government’s Maths Week Scotland 2017. The aim is to create enthusiasm for learning maths among pupils, parents and teachers as well as highlighting the importance of maths as a skill for all careers.

Maths Week Scotland’s Sumdog contest spreads positive messages:

  • Students answer questions to their own ability promoting the message that everyone can do maths
  • It’s accessible for everyone. It does’t take long to get a good score – you can play for around an hour and get the winning score
  • Anyone can win building confidence and enjoyment in everyone’s maths experience
  • Pupils can play at home so parents can get involved and have fun supporting their children’s learning

Join over 2000 classes already entered: http://www.sumdog.com/en/Scotland_Contest/

#SumdogScotland

#MathsWeekScotland

Maths Week Poster

Join “Maths Week Scotland” Contest

We’re running a special Sumdog contest in partnership with the Scottish Government’s Maths Week Scotland. It starts on Friday 8th September, and runs for a week.
You’ll love the contest because:
  • Everyone has a fair chance of winning
  • It doesn’t take long to get a competitive score
  • The winning class receives the prestigious Sumdog Trophy plus a subscription to access Sumdog’s Premium Teaching Tools

Our Scotland contest follows the success of our first ever Scotland-wide in May for National Digital Learning week where we had 2000 entries!

To take part, your class simply play Sumdog’s free maths games, answering questions as they go. You can play at any time.
Join now and be part of the fun!

Your students love the new kitchen!

Thank you to everyone who got in touch with excitement about the new Sumdog room. Please keep your comments coming! Get in touch.

If your students haven’t seen it, tell them to log on and play.  And the excitement continues – if they’ve earned any new items, they’ll be coming next week!

Here’s just a few quotes from teachers with very excited students:

“We just opened our kitchens!! When I showed them your email, they screamed! They are very excited about it and can’t wait to fill it up!

Denise Ludick, Crucifixion School

“We all logged in May 1st ready to see our kitchen. We have been earning kitchen gifts for the past weeks! Thank you for the email update, now I can pass along the info on when the kids can open the kitchen gifts they earned!!! You guys are awesome! We love Sumdog!!”

Wyndelyn White, Howard Perrin Elementary

“My students are VERY excited about the new room on Sumdog. Thank you for always changing and making learning fun!”

Mrs Williams, Warren Elementary

“My students were so excited when they discovered their kitchens
today! They were all a buzz and everyone was begging me to open
the house so that they could see if they got a new room or not.”

Jody Hutcheson, Bon Air Middle School

“Gasps of excitement when I told my class they get a new room in
May! They love SumDog and I love that they are learning while
they play it!!!!”

Cassandra Christen, St. Bonaventure

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Can your class win the top spot in your state?

You bet they can!

In our contest, age or ability does not matter – every class has an equal chance!

Our summer math contest is the first ever state-wide contest. To celebrate, the winning class receive a prestigious trophy. First place winners will also receive our personalized mastery learning tools to target skills and close achievement gaps. And it gets even better. Every student who plays receives new items for their Sumdog house.
Our summer contest runs May 5-11. Don’t miss out.

Summer contest

About Sumdog contests

Students compete against other classes in your state by playing math games. Questions are individualized so everyone can compete regardless of their age or ability.

The score is a class average and every student answers up to 1000 questions so even if you don’t have a lot of computer time you still  have an equal chance.

Sumdog experts

Thank you so much to Sandwood Primary School who sent us wonderful Sumdog reports. We loved them!

Check out our slideshow of P4s impressive art work to find out more about Sumdog.

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Do you have anything you’d like include in our blog? Send it to info@sumdog.com