Skoolbo Powerhouse Beverley Manor Recognized by Local News Station

The students of Beverley Manor Elementary School in Staunton, VA, have been on our radar ever since the very first Skoolbo World Cup held in December 2014. They blasted onto the scene by placing 3rd overall in that inaugural competition, and have been a force to be reckoned with on the Skoolbo Leaderboards ever since.

A big thumbs up from students at Beverley Manor Elementary School!

This past month, the students once again came in 1st for Team USA in the international competition, with a 2nd place overall finish! We are so proud of the massive, school-wide effort put forth by the students, teachers, and principal, and we are so delighted to see their accomplishment recognized by their local media outlet WHSV Channel 3.

Check out this video clip from the interview!

According to the principal, here is the secret to their success:

“I think it’s our staff being so excited about it, and building the kids’ enthusiasm, and giving them an opportunity to feel success with something like that. Then that just builds upon itself.”

-Principal Miranda Ball

Click here to read the entire article.

We have to agree that Beverley Manor’s consistently high performances and presence on the leaderboards speak to the wonderful leadership at the school.  The coordinated efforts and enthusiasm at Beverley Manor Elementary can serve as an inspiration and blueprint to other schools just getting started with Skoolbo.

We look forward to seeing what wonderful things BMES can achieve in 2017!

Could reading for pleasure be a game-changer?

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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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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!

 

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)

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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!

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On a Chromebook?

ChromebooksChromebooks have swept the education sector and we here at Skoolbo are working hard to provide a Chromebook version for you all. Meanwhile, students can access Skoolbo via the web-browser. To play, follow these simple steps!

How to Play on Chromebooks

STEP 1

Sign into your Teacher Dashboard at dashboard.skoolbo.com.
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STEP 2

Go to the Admin > Students tab in your Teacher Dashboard.

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STEP 3

Scroll to the bottom of the page and print/save your students’ log in information.

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STEP 4

Direct your students’ Chromebooks to dashboard.skoolbo.com (our Sign in page). Mark this webpage as a bookmark so that the children can access this webpage easily in the future. Instruct the students to enter their username and password.

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They are now logged in! They can click on the PLAY! button to start a learning game.

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Manny Pacquiao Joins the Skoolbo Dream

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We are deeply honored to have Manny Pacquiao, Filipino boxer and politician, join us in our dream of ensuring every child learns to read and gains confidence with numbers. Manny is a true legend and an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Just this year, the world saw the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather boxing match in what was one of the largest sporting events in history.

We are especially pleased to announce the upcoming launch of Skoolbo Philippines – Go! Pinoy Kids Go!

Manny Pacquiao with Skoolbo's Shane Hill and Julien Picot

Manny Pacquiao with Skoolbo’s Shane Hill and Julien Picot

Manny Pacquiao with his Jack Russell called Pacman who travels with Manny around the world and has his own passport!

Manny Pacquiao with his Jack Russell called Pacman who travels with Manny around the world and has his own passport!

Watch Manny Pacquiao do the Skoolbo Zippy Shake

Our dream is that every child learns to read and gains confidence with numbers… these are life’s essentials. We believe technology can dramatically help and that the best way to do it is to make it lots of fun and to make it FREE! 

P.S. 161: Leading the Way in Technology

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P.S. 161’s On the Cutting Edge

Not shying away from the fast-paced technological era that our children are growing up in, P.S. 161 is jumping right in with their very own 3D printer and even a dedicated school app, available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play!

These developments, along with P.S. 161’s resolute passion to nurture healthy, academically gifted students in preparation for their roles as responsible citizens of our world, are a perfect complement to Skoolbo’s dream of literacy and numeracy for all through technology. Just recently, P.S. 161 has entered the illustrious ranks of less than 20 Super Schools who have answered over 1 million questions on Skoolbo. Way to go!

You can find The Crown School right in the heart of Brooklyn, New York.
P.S. 161

A special shout out goes to Carlos Varas, P.S. 161’s talented Technology Manager, for implementing Skoolbo for over 400 students at The Crown School!

Day 3 of #NYvsLondon- Can New York Pull off Greatest Comeback of all Time!?

An incredible collective effort on Day 3 of the #NYvsLondon Challenge as these young students have already answered more than 789,000 questions, and counting! At this fierce pace, it is no doubt that the 1 million mark will be reached, it’s only a question of when!?

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Staying consistent, the Londoners have a surmountable lead over the New Yorkers, at nearly 600,000 questions answered to New York’s just under 200,000 answers. New York will have the chance to close the gap once the students in London turn out the lights for the night- but is the gap too big to overcome? Could the spirited students of New York pull off the greatest come back in history?!

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Just think NYers, that could be Friday’s headline! …And if you aren’t familiar with the Reggie Miller comeback reference, check this out for some inspiration!

 

Speaking of inspiration, a solo student at PS 175 Henry H Garnet is leading all NY classes, with his points alone! A big pat on the back to U.W.- who also happens to be the #4 overall student on the leader board, battling back and forth for 3rd place.

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1 student in class 501 at PS 175 answering enough questions to be the 19th overall class!

1 student in class 501 at PS 175 answering enough questions to be the 19th overall class

New York schools are also beginning to make a stronger presence in the school’s leader board, now holding 8 of the Top 20 Schools! PS 96 Richard Rogers has the top NY school locked in with nearly 60,000 answers… WOW! Check and see if your school made the cut:

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Whether or  not New York pulls off the greatest comeback of all time, the efforts seen on both sides have been amazing to witness and the teams at Skoolbo are proud of you all. Keep up the great learning kids, and most importantly, have fun!

Want to join in the fun but don’t have an account? Click Here to register, it’s quick and it’s FREE!

register! now

Day 2 and New York Needs to Rally!

We’re only halfway through day 2 of the Challenge and the amazing students of New York and London are already nearing half a million answers!

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As you can see London has built up a very strong lead, but it is still early in the Challenge and we know the determined students in NY cannot be counted out yet.

Many of our usual high performers are doing their part and making appearances high up on the leader board; special shout out to PS 96 Richard Rogers who is currently holding 4 of the top 5 places for all NY classes; well done kids! They are also 3rd overall for all schools in the challenge. We would also like to send a big welcome to the students at Highgate Heights from Buffalo, NY, a newcomer on the Skoolbo leader boards whose Class 209 is currently supporting Team NY with the second highest total answers of all NY classes! classes

 

Londoners have a 5 hour head start on the students in NY, which just means we have the opportunity to gain on them later in the day and in the evening! Make sure your students know their usernames and how to log in at home. 20 minutes per student after school can really put a dent in the massive lead London is currently enjoying, it’s not too late to make a come back!

Not registered yet and what to join the fun?! Click here, it’s fast and FREE!

 

register! now