Become a Skoolbo SuperSchool!

SuperSchool

Has your school got what it takes to be a Skoolbo SuperSchool?  Could your students achieve one million answers on Skoolbo?

248 schools have done just that and made it into the Million Club Hall of Fame. With over 50,000 schools playing Skoolbo worldwide, there’s no doubt that this is an elite club, but also one that comes with exclusive member benefits. Our SuperSchools show an average improvement of 34% in literacy and math skills, proving that the more children play, the more they learn!

Every question answered on Skoolbo represents a challenge, the chance to make mistakes, and the opportunity to learn and improve, with a healthy dose of fun thrown in! Just think what rewards a million answers could bring your students…

  • One million learning opportunities!
  • One million challenges overcome!
  • One million smiles!

 

You’ll need everyone on board, but this is easy! With Skoolbo, learning can happen at home as well as in school. Every answer counts – wherever and however your students access Skoolbo.

Infographic

 

Superschools

Skoolbo Awarded the Coveted TWA Certification

Teachers-with-apps

Skoolbo is proud and honored to announce that we have received the prestigious TWA Certification! According to the Teachers with Apps website, this special Certification Program was designed to recognize and applaud apps and connected tools that are exemplary in educational content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience. We had the great opportunity to chat with Jayne Clare, CEO and Co-Founder of TWA, and this is what she has to say about Skoolbo:

Skoolbo is an all-encompassing educational tool for students, teachers, and parents covering basic reading and numeracy skills through student-driven gameplay. Teachers With Apps highly recommends this outstanding program for its ease of use, quality content, and engaging nature! A rare find.

Thank you, Jayne, for the kind words! With TWA’s seal of approval, we’re sure that we will now be able to reach even more students in the USA and fulfill our dream of every child learning to read and gaining confidence with numbers.  

We also want to take this moment to thank all of our teachers, parents, and children who play a key role in making Skoolbo the game that it is today! We know that you have unlimited choices when it comes to educational programs for your children, so the fact that you chose Skoolbo over all of the other apps means a lot to us. It is the motivation that keeps us going everyday. We appreciate you!

Are you new to Skoolbo and would like to learn more about the game? Click here to find out more information.

Could reading for pleasure be a game-changer?

Reading for pleasure (3)

It is widely accepted that learning to read is an essential life skill, even if there is not total agreement about how this skill should be taught. Once acquired, reading is used everyday but it seems that fewer and fewer people are choosing to read in their leisure time. This decline is not restricted to adults who arguably have less leisure time at their disposal. Children are also choosing to read for pleasure less often.

But is this important? If children have the ‘basics,’ does it matter what they do outside of school? How can immersing yourself in a good book be beneficial, especially in a day and age where ‘reading for pleasure’ feels like a thing of the past?

There is a growing body of educational research evidence that links a number of benefits of children reading for pleasure. The key findings include:

  • Reading for pleasure is important for both educational purposes as well as personal development and it has positive emotional and social consequences;
  • There is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment;
  • There is a positive relationship between reading for pleasure and attainment in a wide range of educational areas, including math;
  • Reading enjoyment may be more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status.

This last point is of particular interest because despite increased focus and, in many cases, increased funding, a child’s socio-economic background stubbornly remains the single biggest indicator of a child’s future educational outcomes. What if developing a love of reading holds the key to levelling the playing field for so many children?

The research also examined children’s perceptions of readers. It concluded that elementary-aged readers and non-readers believed that their friends saw people who read as happy and as people with a lot of friends.

It seems that the argument in favor of reading for pleasure has been won — so how can we encourage children to choose to read in their own time? One of the reasons cited for children avoiding books is a lack of reading confidence; thus, removing some of these early barriers becomes essential. Introducing children to picture books with simple vocabulary is a great start.

We know that once children can read a wide range of common words by sight, they are more likely to go on to become confident, fluent readers. These common words are those that children typically recognize within approximately 3 seconds. Amazingly, 50 percent of our written material is made up of these 100 high-frequency words and this is where game-based learning can help. Games like Skoolbo enable children to learn these words effortlessly and in a hugely enjoyable way. Children love games and are fascinated by new technology. Teaching these early reading and spelling skills in an exciting interactive learning environment allows children to get more from their reading. This builds confidence, freeing them to tackle more challenging words and focus more on the story or poem’s meaning which, in turn, leads to increased enjoyment.

Confidence, however, can be fragile and fleeting if we are not careful. Children love sharing books with friends and trusted adults and they are often very happy to read aloud when they are very young. Reading silently or ‘in their head’ is a skill that develops much later, but reading to an adult in a formal school setting can be daunting for some children. It introduces an element of judgement and can result in a drop in confidence. Innovations in educational technology can help children develop as readers independently and free of judgement until they are ready.

Zippy Shine is one such innovation which allows children to practice and record their reading independently. In this reading and performance app, children can choose from a range of exciting adventures with familiar characters or they can try their hand at telling a joke, re-recording as many times as they like until they are happy with their performance. As they listen back to their own reading, they instinctively self-assess, recognizing where previously un-noticed punctuation may have indicated a pause or change of intonation. They begin to have an awareness of audience and develop their performance accordingly. Children remain in control of their own reading development and only share their performance when they feel they are ready. Teachers will soon be able to receive recorded performances via their online teacher dashboard, providing opportunities for encouragement and informing planning for the next guided session. Similarly, parents will soon be able to listen to the recordings in their parent dashboard, which will give them the opportunity to work directly with their child on their reading skills. It can also be a great source of pride and enjoyment for both parent and child.

Technology may not be able to replace that special time curled up in your favorite place with a slightly shabby, much-loved paperback but it can go a long way to help our children develop the needed skills to get there!

New to Skoolbo? Register your child, class or homeschool now for FREE and join the Skoolbo movement!

codie footer for LP 2

The Last Day!

This is it – the final day! Team USA let’s finish big!

Since the first day, you have been awesome, you just need to keep going a little longer.

Team Australia have a strong lead and may be hard to catch but Team GB and Team New Zealand will be doing their best to overtake you so we can’t relax.

1Keep playing!

#SkoolboWorldCup

7

Or if you’re not registered, it’s not too late!

button-register

It’s Day 3 – Can Team USA pass the half million?

It’s the start of day three and the leader boards reveal that Team New Zealand, Team GB and Team USA are fighting a close battle but it is Team Australia who are seemingly impossible to topple!

1

However, here at Skoolbo, we firmly believe that anything is possible so come on Team USA, let’s get ready to take on the Aussies!

We are so close to the half million answer mark and now that Team Australia and Team New Zealand are sleeping we have a chance to cover some ground and get more US schools into the top ten. Here’s how the leader boards looked this morning –

school

Australia’s John XXIII Catholic Primary School and St Clare’s Primary School are looking comfortable at the top with St Michael’s School sneaking into fourth place. Team USA had a good day and have four schools in the top ten. Beverley Manor Elementary are continuing their good run as are Irma Dru Hutchinson Elementary and Melba Elementary School. Spring Creek Elementary are also up there flying the Stars and Stripes!

Don’t be fooled by Team New Zealand’s temporary absence on the schools leader board. They are holding on to second place overall and have some dedicated classes determined to oust Team Australia and claim glory –

class

Go! US Kids Go!

Follow the challenge – #SkoolboWorldCup

7

Or register here –

button-register

 

Day 2 is underway! Go! US Kids Go!

By lunchtime yesterday, children from across the globe had collectively answered over one million questions! We thought that was pretty amazing until we took a look this morning…over three and a half million questions!

Day 2

This is an awesome achievement and everyone taking part has every reason to feel enormously proud. Of course it is made all the more special as every answer given represents another step a student has made towards mastering a new maths, literacy or language skill!

Whilst we are delighted with our collective performance, it is the accomplishment of individual territories that will determine the overall winner and the USA is ready for the challenge!

This is how the leader board looked yesterday –

Leaderboard 1

The amazing effort by St Clare’s Primary School on day one meant that they managed to hold on to the top spot despite a strong performance from Team GB’s Knockloughrim Primary School. Team New Zealand’s Greytown School and Papakura Normal School did well and secured prestigious places in the top ten as did Team USA’s Beverley Manor Elementary. The seemingly unbeatable Roseville Public School, St Michael’s School, John XXIII Catholic School and Yugumbir State School stayed in the top ten but it was ‘all change’ only hours later –

Leaderboard 2

Irma Dru Hutchinson Elementary pulled out all the stops to also edge their way into the top ten for Team USA – incredible effort! Can Team USA lift themselves off the bottom? We think we can!

Team GB and Team USA have their work cut out – watch this space!

Go! US Kids Go!

Just hit ‘PLAY’

7

Or…

button-register

3, 2, 1, Go! The World Cup Has Started!

gif 4

The wait is over, the 2016 Skoolbo World Cup has commenced!
Team Australia and Team New Zealand have made a flying start, although the time difference has given them a few more playing hours (as it stands). But it’s only day one and we have already surpassed the global one million answer mark! Fantastic!

Day 1

Australian schools have dominated the leader boards on the first day, although Team GB have nudged their way into the top ten. As it stands, St Clare’s Primary School are looking hard to beat but a concerted effort from Roseville Public School could topple them. The other two of the four top spots are being held by St Michael’s School and John XXIII Catholic Primary School. This has all been happening while Team USA sleep so make sure you eat a good breakfast. it’s your turn now!

Leaderboard

Team USA, let’s make an awesome start!

7

Are you ready to take on the world? Play now or register free!

button-register

Are you ready to win?

7

It’s time to show the world what Team USA can do. On Tuesday the 6th of December, children across America will compete with children in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom for the title of World Skoolbo Champion. Answer as many questions as you can on reading, math and languages during the 4 day event!

Here are the wonderful students from Papakura Normal School in New Zealand in anticipation of the challenge-

Be sure to share with us any videos or pictures from your classes as we get pumped up for this year’s Skoolbo World Cup!Stay tuned for more news on the World Cup as we lead up to December 6th…

Go USA Kids! Go!

 

Cibolo Creek Elementary – over 300,000 questions answered on Skoolbo!

Mrs. Bykowski's class (1st grade) top class with over 35,000 questions

Mrs. Bykowski’s 1st graders are the top class in the school with over 35,000 questions!

These are just some of the 670 amazing students at Cibolo Creek Elementary in Boerne, Texas! Having previously taught in the classroom, teaching Computer in the lab was new territory for Karen Callahan this year. Upon learning about Skoolbo from Facebook and seeing that it was free, she decided to investigate to see if it would be something she could use in her classroom to support the regular classroom teacher’s curriculum.

In her own words…

“Around October is when I first started to implement and introduce Skoolbo to the older grades.  After that, I worked my way down to Kindergarten. Before Christmas break, every student had the opportunity to download the app at home. So I didn’t really give Skoolbo any fanfare, but in all honesty, I didn’t need to. Once the students had the opportunity to play the game, they were hooked. As the months have progressed, I’m really noticing a large surge of students begin to accumulate questions.

After Christmas break, some of the teachers started asking about the program and decided to put the Skoolbo site on their classroom computers that the kids use. As word got around, many teachers asked for the site to be placed on their computers as well. Because of the high demand for it, our technology department did a school-wide download on every classes’ computer instead of individually placing it on one at a time.”

 (Cibolo Creek)

Pictured above are the Top 15 overall leaders for the week!

Check out how Karen uses Skoolbo features to maximize effectiveness and motivation!

“Now, having leaderboard results, I post them weekly outside of my classroom door letting the students know which classes are in the lead, who jumped up 1,000 or more questions, and which class jumped up from a lower place to a higher place (like 28th place to 20th place).  I also post the top ten individual leaders in the whole school plus the top 5 leaders in each grade.  Students will now stop by my door to check the results for each week.

I am really pleased with Skoolbo and the support it has to offer.  As a computer teacher that has a responsibility to teach computer skills, keyboarding, and give support to the classroom teachers, I found Skoolbo to be very helpful with the core subjects of literacy and mathematics. I do use other educational technology games, but my students are always excited to play Skoolbo.  What I like best about Skoolbo is that it is constantly teaching the kids as they progress through the game.  So in a sense, it is learning in a very fun way. My students also love it when my character pops up to Duelbo them and if they beat me, I always hear about it.

The reports are extremely helpful, as well as the progress reports.  It makes it very easy to reassign a lesson where the student may be struggling.  The extra bonuses for the kids is the option to change their character and buy things with the points that they accumulate.  The younger kids really enjoy it more so than my fourth and fifth graders. Many of my lower grade level teachers are using Skoolbo as one of their learning stations.”

From the students and teachers of Cibolo Creek Elementary…

“ I play it for an hour every day after school.  I am learning my numbers, I am learning to read, and I bought a lot of stuff.  I worked a lot!” (Kindergartner)

“ I play because I want to be really good, or the best at it so I can get more coins.” (Third grader)

“Skoolbo is funner than doing a math paper.” (First Grader)

Presenting the top 3 students in the school! (All first graders)

Presenting the top 3 students of Cibolo Creek Elementary! (All first graders)

“My kids love Skoolbo and were so excited that they also have access at home.  It is such a great program!” (Kindergarten teacher)

“My students love to check the leaderboard and are constantly telling me or their classmates who they are playing against. They love using Skoolbo at school and at home. This website gives my children motivation to learn.” (1st Grade Teacher)

“My students are constantly talking with each other about what they did on Skoolbo at home or in the classroom. Skoolbo provides my students with motivation to keep playing it.”  (2nd Grade Teacher)

CiboloCreekLogo2014_200pix

Cibolo creek elementary School inspires the academic excellence that enables our community to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

 

Do you have a success story from your own school? Email us at info@skoolbo.com!

New to Skoolbo? Register your class now and join the Skoolbo movement!

button (28)

6 Essential Components of Great eLearning

eLearning

You’ve probably heard the term “eLearning” thrown about over the last number of years, but do you really know what it is? In short, eLearning is learning that is conducted using electronic media such as the internet or an application. It comes in many forms including, but not limited to:

  • Research tools
  • Class management resources
  • Creativity enablers
  • Shared learning tools

Skoolbo is an eLearning program based on skill-building and below we take a quick look at some of the components that make an effective eLearning program:

 

1. Fun and engaging, but not distracting

What better way to engage people in something than by making it fun? This is especially true for children, where fun is pretty much the number one thing on their minds! There’s a delicate balancing act between making an eLearning program fun and keeping learning to the forefront, as the program could potentially turn into a full-blown game with some learning thrown in. With this in mind, it’s imperative that the “fun” element engages the child but doesn’t distract from the overall goal of learning!

2. Simple to use

Don’t overcomplicate it, nobody wants to spend hours trying to understand something and children are even more susceptible to this! Think about the last time you bought some flat-packed furniture, did you really enjoy going through the pages of instructions to put it together? No? Us neither! The same principle applies to eLearning in that it should be easy to pick up and use, but deliver a powerful end result (like a nice bedside table!). Apple are a great example of this, in that their devices are super-easy to work with but bring enormous satisfaction!

3. Motivating reward systems

What’s the point in putting time and effort into something if you have nothing to show for it at the end? A rewards system is a great way to motivate a child to use the program in short bursts over a long period of time, where the key here is to make sure the child doesn’t become either addicted to, or sick of it! Any genuine effort should be rewarded, but the reward must also be something that the child wants!

4. Opportunity to make mistakes

At Skoolbo we believe in the old adage of “learning from your mistakes”, so we try to create an environment where the child feels comfortable with making mistakes but ultimately wants to rectify them so they can learn and move forward. At least 50% of eLearning programs have no opportunity to make mistakes, which often causes the child to click randomly through answers and is counter-productive to actually learning what the right one is!

5. Learn by doing

An old Chinese proverb says “tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand”. Letting a child become more hands-on and actually attempt a task rather than simply explaining it to them helps keep them engaged and interested, as they are being encouraged to think and interact. Nobody likes to sit there being told what to do and we believe that practice absolutely makes perfect when it comes to eLearning.

6. Teachable moments – Immediate feedback and support

Every parent and teacher knows that there are certain moments when a child is most receptive to feedback and support, and a good eLearning program will get involved at exactly those moments! Immediate feedback and support facilitates self-learning, the most effective type of learning there is. It also helps when the support system is designed in such a way that it becomes less apparent as the child grows less reliant on it!

 

We’ve only touched on some of the key components that promote effective eLearning with this post and we’d love to hear what works best for you, so feel free to drop us a mail on info@skoolbo.com

 New to Skoolbo? Register your class or child now to join the Skoolbo Movement!

button (3)