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!

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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.

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#SkoolboWorldCup

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

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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!

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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 –

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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 -

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Go! US Kids Go!

Follow the challenge – #SkoolboWorldCup

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Or register here –

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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’

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Or…

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

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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!

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

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Are you ready to win?

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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!

 

Help Your Child to Love Reading

howtobe reader_zippyshinelogo

There has been a huge emphasis recently on the importance of reading with your child. But what does good reading look like and how can you best support your child to both enjoy reading and develop the skills that will help them become confident, motivated, fluent readers?

booksWhy is it important that children enjoy reading?

Children who read for pleasure achieve better not only in English but also across a wide range of subjects including math.

open-bookWhat is “good reading”?

Reading is about so much more than simply decoding print; it is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation.

 


You can download Zippy Shine for 50% off on iTunes or the Google Play Store.


We tend to think that reading is a purely visual skill involving the ability to link letters to sounds. However, learning to read can also rely on a more complex set of underlying cognitive skills such as memory, attention, and sequencing.

Zippy Shine is a reading performance app that gives children the opportunity reach their potential in reading in a fun, enjoyable and safe way. It helps children develop the complex set of skills required to become a ‘good’ reader, placing them in control of their learning.

Children learn to read so they can read to learn!

 

Follow Skoolbo US on Social Media: Facebook and Twitter. Please share this if you find it interesting!


Zippy Shine is developed by Skoolbo.

Source info: Reading for pleasure, reading agency, transforming children into good readers.

Skoolbo partners with major Chinese educational player

Skoolbo partners with Century Innovative Technology, a major Chinese educational player, to deliver award winning learning platforms to millions of children.

Skoolbo will be working with Century Innovative Technology Limited (CIT) to launch co-branded products in China.

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Shane Hill, CEO and Founder Skoolbo and Poman Lo CEO and Founder CIT.

It has been a terrific few weeks for Skoolbo with its newly announced valuable partnership with China’s CIT and the CODiE Award for the Best Game-based Curriculum Solution by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).  SIIA is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries. The SIIA CODiE Award is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services.

 

Since the Skoolbo launch in 2013, Skoolbo has been a runaway success that reaches over 200,000 classrooms, worldwide. Skoolbo has localized versions in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, India, Mexico and was recently launched in Canada.

 

Shane Hill, Founder and CEO of Skoolbo: “Our mission is to transform the educational outcomes of millions of children across the globe and with CIT and Poman Lo ,their CEO, we have found our perfect partner. Our companies have the same mission to educate millions of children and have forged similar paths towards the same goal. The partnership brings together the complementary strengths of both companies – CIT has the number one rated TV show in China for children as well as very strong relationships with many important players in both the public and private sectors in China. Skoolbo has proven in country after country that our learning platforms are loved by children, teachers and parents”.

 

 

Poman Lo, ­ founder and CEO of CIT:  “I couldn’t be happier with a partnership with CITL_1Skoolbo. I have huge respect for Shane and his team who have shown they are world leaders in education. CIT and our award-winning brand ‘Bodhi and friends’ will be integrated into Skoolbo products and rolled out in China and other territories. CIT will drive distribution in China and leverage our extensive network and channels. I look forward to our introduction of an amazing digital experience for Chinese Kindergartens.  We shall redefine learning and transform preschool education. Our music game app ‘Careok’ has been promoted by the Chinese Ministry of Education in schools across the whole of China. My dream is to inspire young minds and nurture innovative leaders across the world and we have just taken a big step forward”.

 

 Skoolbo Logo-PNGRoxanne Mankin Cason, President of Skoolbo USA: “It’s been a very successful few weeks – we signed our partnership with CIT, we won the CODiE Award, the equivalent of the educational Oscars in America, for Best Game Based Solution.   In addition, we are excited to share the fantastic news that for the last two months in the United States, we have seen over thirteen thousand new schools onboard Skoolbo. We expect similar success in Canada where we launched last week with a localized version. This is what Skoolbo is all about – motivation of children, have fun and experience dramatic improvement in learning”.