Supporting multiple learning styles through game-based learning

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With back-to-school season well underway, many teachers are embarking on the task of ensuring that every student in their care reaches their academic potential. As we now know, the “one-size-fits-all” teaching method can be ineffective and can quickly lead to student disengagement. So how can teachers design their lessons to ensure they are meeting the individual needs of each and every student in their classroom? A starting point is to familiarise themselves with how their students learn best through intentional observations and honest conversations. This may take some time and dedication on the teacher’s part, but it will be well worth it in the end!

There are many tools that teachers can use in the classroom to help them differentiate their lessons to suit their students’ individual learning styles. One such tool is educational technology. With a myriad of ed tech games in the market, teachers may wonder what is the best one for their students. While there is not a simple, straightforward answer to this, teachers need to take into consideration a variety of factors such as the age and experiences of their students and the desired outcome of the lesson. For example, if an elementary teacher is looking for an app to help her 1st graders gain fundamental skills in numeracy and literacy, Skoolbo would be an excellent choice for her class since it focuses on these skills for children from preK-6th grade.

Although admittedly, there is not total agreement in the education sector about the validity of Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic (VAK) theory, it is widely accepted that variety in teaching methods and styles go a long way toward keeping students engaged and learning. Incorporating this variety into lessons will not only ensure all types of learners are catered to but will also encourage individuals to engage with learning in different ways.

Below we look at the three major learning styles of VAK theory and examine how ed tech games, such as Skoolbo can support each style.

Visual Learners
These types of learners need to see the lesson that is being taught. So, for instance, if they are given instructions, they are better able to follow these instructions if the instructions are written on a white board rather than being told to them. Ed tech games, such as Skoolbo, really play to this learning style with their visually stimulating characters and backgrounds. Also, games like Skoolbo have students answer questions that are displayed right on the screen, which is very beneficial for visual learners.

Auditory Learners
Similar to visual learners, auditory learners also use one of their senses to learn. For them, they need to hear what is being taught. Auditory learners learn best through oral teaching methods, such as talking through a topic or singing a song. Skoolbo and many other ed tech games are great for these types of learners because they can hear the questions being spoken out loud, and they get verbal reinforcements throughout the game.

Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners like to put their learning into action. They often use their hands to “talk” and to touch things around them, and they also enjoy moving around. One of the features that is included in Skoolbo, Zippy Shake is fantastic for these types of learners because it gets them movin’ and groovin’.

 

Game-based learning has the capability of scaffolding the learning process for all of these types of learners since they focus on multiple learning styles. Such games also help make a teacher’s life much easier as teachers will not need to rely on many different types of ed tech tools to help each of their students. And above all, students enjoy playing games, so engaging them in games that are both fun and educational at the same time is attacking two birds with one stone!

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Whale Hill Primary School – ClassBo Champions!

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A new school year is beginning full of excitement and new opportunities. We hope everyone has enjoyed the summer and is looking forward to the term ahead.

One Skoolbo school ended last year on a high and we’d like to share their success with you. We’re sure that these great students will inspire others to follow their wonderful example.

John Frost is the Computing Leader for Whale Hill and has been busy motivating students to improve their maths, literacy and language skills by rolling out Skoolbo across the school. The teachers are also brilliant at sharing students’ successes across social media which has helped to tell their Skoolbo story as it unfolds.

Year 4 were the first to appear on Twitter, demonstrating just how engaged they are with their learning on the platform –

Year 4 Skoolbo

Each year group had been set a Mega ClassBo Challenge to answer 25,000 maths and literacy questions over a two week period and Year 4 took an early lead –

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The regular Twitter updates revealed some very close competition and Year 2 were also early ClassBo stars –

Whale Hill Twitter

By the end of term all this effort had paid off and not just in terms of the amazing learning progress, Whale Hill Primary School had shot straight to the top of the leaderboard –

Whale Hill leaderboard

And it wasn’t just Whale Hill students who were winners as a result of participating in these ClassBos, WaterAid UK will benefit from every ClassBo successfully completed last term (more to follow).

As you can see from the fabulous comments below, the children are adept at reflecting on their learning and have come up with some great suggestions for developing Skoolbo in the future. We’ll certainly take these ideas on board so thank you!

What do you enjoy most about Skoolbo?

You get to play games and learn at the same time. (Y1)

It looks really good on the iPad. It doesn’t feel like learning but you are. (Y2)

The games are short so you can play for a long time or a short amount of time if you want. (Y4)

Where do you play Skoolbo most? at home, at school, in the car?

Almost half of children in Y2 and Y4 had used it at home including downloading the app. Y3 and Y5 was more than a quarter. All have had the opportunity to use it in school a number of times (Mr Frost)

How has the ClassBo challenge made learning more exciting?

It tells you how many points you have so you want to get more and be better. (Y2)

When the teacher shows us the points you can see your own score and you want to get the most so you play more. (Y3)

You get to see how close you are getting to the target and you only have 2 weeks which makes it feel like a competition. (Y5)

Do you talk to your friends about Skoolbo/ClassBo?

The children have said that they often talk about it with each other in school. More than half in Y4 and Y5 said they had talked about Skoolbo, even if it was to compare points (Mr Frost)

We are always looking for new and exciting things to add to Skoolbo. Do you have any suggestions for us? new lands, new languages, new rewards, new vehicles?

Rockets in space, underwater (on a shark’s back) and on the moon!

How do you feel when you master a new game?

I feel really proud. (Y1)

It makes me want to keep going and do even better. (Y2)

I feel more confident. (Y3)

It makes me feel like I’m good and getting better at maths and English. (Y4)

I want to master more topics and improve further. (Y5)

And here are some comments from the teachers –

It has been wonderful to see the level of enthusiasm for Skoolbo that children across the school have. We thought they would like it but they don’t. They love it.

I have seen children who lack confidence in Maths and English lessons fist-pump the air with pride as they achieve a personal-best score. Children who will easily disengage in lessons have tentatively asked when we will next be able to use Skoolbo in school. Quiet and timid children have flourished with the healthy competition that the year group leaderboard provides.

Furthermore, the opportunity to set targets as a ClassBo challenge has appealed to the children. It has provided them with a specific aim and given an explicit purpose for using Skoolbo as well as enjoyment and learning. The Water Aid focus and the resources provided have helped us as teachers to make cross-curricular links from Geography to Science to PSHCE.

On the last day of the year, the children were allowed to bring in their own toys and games to play. Within an hour, Y4 were asking if they could play on Skoolbo. That they would choose it over free time with their friends and their own toys says more than I could put into words.

Whale Hill Primary School – you are amazing!

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Whale Hill Primary School is based in Eston, Middlesborough. Here are their aims and expectations –

At Whale Hill we value all of our pupils equally, respecting their individuality and seeking to develop their fullest potential.

Our aim is:

  • To nurture happy, lively and well-balanced children with active and enquiring minds.
  • To develop childrens knowledge and enhance their skills.
  • To foster tolerance, respect for others and increase childrens awareness of moral and spiritual values.
  • To help children to become active participants and responsible citizens, able to live their lives as completely as they are equipped to live.

Our expectations of children are always high. We want them to work hard, enjoy school life, behave appropriately and take responsibility within the school.

“Continuous Improvement towards the very best imaginable”

Top 5 reasons why learning with Skoolbo is FUN

Your child will no doubt be excited about what the new school year will bring. However, moving into a new class can also be overwhelming for children and very tiring for parents. But the fun needn’t stop just because the holidays are over.

Skoolbo provides the perfect way for your child to relax while improving their maths, literacy, and language skills.

How do we know this?

Children have been telling us in their hundreds. We’ve gathered together the fantastic feedback we’ve received from children, including the top 5 reasons for why they love Skoolbo.

It doesn’t feel like learning but you are“. 6 years old.
The games are short so you can play for a long or short time if you want”. 9 years old.
It makes me feel like I’m good and getting better at maths and English“. 10 years old.

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zippy-shine You can also download Zippy Shine for 50% off on iTunes or the Google Play Store:

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Follow Skoolbo UK on Social Media: Facebook and Twitter. Please share it if you find it interesting! Zippy Shine is developed by Skoolbo.

Help your child to love reading

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There has been 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 develop the skills that will help them become confident, motivated, fluent readers.

 

open-bookWhat good readers do?

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

 

booksWhy is it important that children enjoy reading?

Children who read for pleasure achieve better not only in English but also in maths, science, etc.

 


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


McKenna, Ellsworth and Kear’s research shows that motivation to read decreases with age, especially if children’s attitudes towards reading become less positive; if children do not enjoy reading when they are young, they are unlikely to do so when they get older.“.

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

Zippy Shine is developed by Skoolbo.

Rollover has begun! Move your students up so they don’t lose their progress

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Wow! What great progress UK children made last school year on Skoolbo! So far there are over 285,823 UK students playing Skoolbo, answering 192.4 million reading and maths questions which gave them an average improvement of 27.7%. What a great achievement!

It’s now time to get ready for the new school year on Skoolbo by moving your students up so they don’t lose all their hard earned progress. It will only take 30 seconds to rollover your students from last so they’re all ready to play and learn – with no activity lost!

Rollover your students to keep their well earned progress!
Available only for a limited time so get in quick!

Our Rollover 2016/17 period has begun so you will notice that your Teacher Dashboard looks a bit different.

Follow the simple instructions below or watch our instructional video below to ensure a smooth rollover

loginLog into Skoolbo

Clue: Your username is the email address you used to register with Skoolbo.

If you can’t remember your password, click here to reset it!

 

rollover blueMove your 2015/16 students to 2016/17

  • Click on “Choose a class”
  • Select the new class name (or type a new one)
  • Automatically we will transfer all students in the class (no more one by one!)

 

That’s it! Quick and easy isn’t it!

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Creating confident, fluent, motivated readers with Zippy Shine

**We are offering a 50% off discount to all our early bird Zippy Shiners!**

**Limited offer so get in quick!**

 Reading and sharing stories is a fundamental part of being human. Stories expose us to a world beyond the one we live in, promoting understanding, entertaining us and bringing enjoyment. In fact recent studies have shown that children who read regularly and for pleasure generally achieve better outcomes in a wide range of subjects including maths.

 

While the importance of being able to read well is not in doubt, the seemingly effortless activity described as “good reading” is actually made up of a set of highly complex, skills and abilities. This is where our new reading and performance reading app Zippy Shine can help.

Zippy Shine (video below) is packed full of mini-stories for children ages 7 to 11 to read aloud and record and they’ll be amazed as they discover their own name appearing in every story!

This brings a range of benefits for the children such as:

  • the ability to evaluate their own performance
  • develops the concepts of expression and intonation
  • recognise and respond to punctuation in a meaningful context.

And Zippy Shine is not just about stories, there are jokes too!

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Children can try their hand at reading questions and delivering a punchline with expert timing! Once their performance is perfected, they can play it back for friends and family with their avatar taking the stage! What’s more, children who sign in to Zippy Shine with their Skoolbo account can share their masterpiece with their parents and teacher to receive valuable feedback and some well deserved applause!

Zippy Shine is a fun, enjoyable way to help children become confident, fluent, motivated readers. Who knows you may discover that the next master storyteller or comic genius is closer than you think!

Download now!

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Early bird special – 50% discount – Limited period.

Watch Zippy Shine in action!

 

 

 

 

Get the facts on Summer Learning Loss and how you can beat it from home!

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You may have heard of Summer Learning Loss, the academic losses that many young people experience during the time they’re out of school over the Summer.  While there have been countless articles posted on the problem – it can be hard to know what the easiest fix is without forcing your children study over the long awaited Summer Break. Here at Skoolbo, we know how demotivating that is for your child when all they really want to do is play!

Learning through play is what Skoolbo is all about. Our highly motivational learning games are the easiest and most effective way your child can stay ahead over the Summer Break. The best part is, it’s completely free to use meaning you won’t break the bank to achieve real learning improvement.

So what is Skoolbo and what can your child get out of it?

  • Skoolbo is a learning game designed to improve the reading, maths and language skills of primary school children
  • The Skoolbo personalised learning algorithm dynamically adjusts to the ability of each child, ensuring effective learning without the need for constant teacher input
  • Maths and Reading games – over 60,000 literacy and numeracy questions
  • Language learning games with Language Dragons – learn French, Mandarin and Spanish
  • Duelbo – a motivating way to learn. Challenge friends to beat highscores
  • Parent Dashboard – providing vital information so parents can track the progress of their child’s learning outcomes.
  • Proof of improvement – Studies have shown that 94% of children master a new reading or maths skill within just 20 minutes of playing Skoolbo

 

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Let’s take a look at some important facts on Summer Learning Loss

We have put together an easy to read infographic to highlight the potential impact of Summer Learning Loss and to show why your child would benefit from playing Skoolbo at home over the Summer.

 

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Are your students playing for WaterAid?

Earlier this term we asked our players to get behind our special WaterAid challenge and we have been overwhelmed by the response.

Over the last three weeks hundreds of Mega, Mighty and Mammoth ClassBo challenges have been completed, each one helping to bring clean water, sanitation and hygiene to people across the globe.

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We’ll continue donating to WaterAid for every challenge successfully completed

by the end of this term.

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Thorndown Primary School in Cambridgeshire were among the first to set ClassBo challenges. Here’s what some of their students had to say:

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If your class hasn’t yet set a challenge, it’s not too late, a few clicks in teacher dashboard and you’re good to go.

Skoolbo partners with major Chinese educational player

Skoolbo is proud to announce our new partnership with CIT, a major Chinese educational player, to deliver award-winning learning platforms across China.

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

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

 

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

Since launching in 2013, Skoolbo has been a runaway success, reaching over 200K classrooms, worldwide. Skoolbo has localised versions in United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, India, Mexico and recently launched in Canada.

Shane Hill, who founded Mathletics and Skoolbo announced, “Our mission is to transform the educational outcomes of millions of children across the globe and in 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 aim. The partnership brings together the complementary strengths of both companies – CIT has the number one rated TV show in China for young people 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 ­ CEO and Founder of CIT said “I couldn’t be happier in partnering with Skoolbo. I have huge respect for Shane and his team who have shown they are worldCITL_1 beaters. CIT and our award-winning brand ‘Bodhi and friends’ will be integrated into Skoolbo products as they roll out in China and other territories. CIT will drive forward distribution in China leveraging on our extensive network and channels. I am looking forward to bringing an amazing digital experience to Chinese Kindergartens which will help 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 to inspire young minds and nurture innovative leaders across the world has just taken a big step forward”.

 

Skoolbo Logo-PNGColin Brown London-based Skoolbo Chief Operating Officer said, “it’s been a terrific few weeks – signing our partnership with CIT, winning the equivalent of the educational Oscars in America, known as the CODiEs Award for best game based solution on the back of a fantastic two months in the US where we have seen over thirteen thousand new schools on board Skoolbo. We are hoping for similar success in Canada where we launched last week with a localised version. Last, but certainly not least,  we had a wonderful response to our recent campaign in the UK where, for every challenge a class achieves, we will make a donation to WaterAid. At this stage in the term when it’s difficult to motivate the children, asking them to help children across the world by improving their reading and maths has really hit the spot and schools are responding very well”.

 

 

It starts with water…

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It is estimated that 650 million people worldwide live without access to safe water while 2.3 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. That’s one third of the global population! We are therefore very excited to announce that Skoolbo has teamed up with the charity WaterAid to support their campaign to end the global water crisis and bring sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene to every person on the planet by 2030.

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Photo: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

This is an ambitious goal and we’d like your students to help. The good news is they can do this while improving their maths and literacy skills. All you need to do is challenge your class to at least one ClassBo and we’ll make sure that a donation to WaterAid is made for every one successfully completed by the end of this school year.

 


If you haven’t tried it yet, Classbo is an exciting way to accelerate learning in your class. You can challenge your students to answer 5,000, 25,000 or 100,000 answers over a period of two days, two weeks or three months respectively and it only takes seconds to set up. Once you’ve set the challenge, every answer your students give on Skoolbo will count towards the total whether they participate at school, at home or both!This is a great opportunity to make some cross-curricular links while supercharging maths and literacy learning in your class. Perhaps you are already covering a water themed topic? It could also link with any values-based learning you are promoting in your school e.g. Unity, Selflessness, Responsibility, Global Citizenship etc

WaterAid has created these great water-themed resources to help you explore this topic with your students.

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The small act of setting a ClassBo challenge will aid accelerated progress, giving your students the best possible chance of success, while at the same time improving the life chances of children thousands of miles away.

Here’s what one teacher told us about their experience of using ClassBo –

I have used the teacher function to set my class challenges, first of all I set a ClassBo 5,000 challenge, and got 6,500 answers in 48 hours. I then threw caution to the wind and set a 14 day 25,000 correct answer challenge. I was completely blown away by the response, 25,000 correct answers in 6 days!

Ensure you share the news with everyone, just think of the potential impact of getting the whole school community on board!

Follow the hashtag #learn2give

It starts with water…

Ps did you know that ‘Clean Water’ is Goal number 6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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