Are you ready to win?

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

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

 

Would you share with us your World Cup preparations?

Stay tuned for more news on the World Cup coming in the lead up to December 6th…

Go GB Kids! Go!

Aldermoor Farm will be flying the flag for Team GB!

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The children of Aldermoor Farm Primary School have shown that they really have what it takes to excel. One of our early-adopter schools that came on board in 2014, they are truly dedicated ‘Skoolbo-ers’. Take a glance at the UK leader board and you will usually see them occupying a top ten place, as this snapshot from last week shows –

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We are always on the look out for schools who believe in leading by example which is why we have chosen Aldermoor Farm Primary School in Coventry to be the first of our ambassadors for the upcoming 2016 Skoolbo World Cup.

This year we are shining the spotlight on class 1TC who have recently earned their Super Class Award for collectively answering 25,000 questions! They may be some of the youngest children in the school but they have shown that together they are a force to be reckoned with. Next stop the ‘Spectacular Class Award’!

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Here’s what these wonderful superstars have to say about their learning with Skoolbo –

I like flying games because they make me learn numbers and counting.” Suber

I like to race so I can learn not to crash and it helps me numbers and letters.” Julija

I go on Skoolbo because it helps me learn take away and add, numbers and addition.” Sanvi

I go on Skoolbo because it is fun and also helps me to learn and become better at maths and writing.” Isaac

The children of Aldermoor Farm Primary School will be pulling out all the stops for Team GB to give us the best possible chance of victory. Are you ready to join them?

Start practising now so you’re ‘match fit’ and ready to play. Bring it on!

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The Skoolbo World Cup is just around the corner! Let’s WIN UK!

Skoolbo World Cup

The Skoolbo World Cup is back for a third year! Children in the UK will be competing against other Skoolbo-ers in classrooms across the USA, New Zealand and Australia.

Running from Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th of December, your students’ avatars will wear a new Team GB uniform. Every question your students answer correctly puts the UK one step closer to victory! There will be an automated tally on the Skoolbo website homepage so you can see the results live.

This is a great way to motivate and engage students to learn by answering lots of maths and literacy questions.

Let’s have some fun as we join together to take on the world in the Skoolbo World Cup!

Stay tuned for more news on the World Cup coming in the lead up to December 6th…

Go GB Kids! Go!

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New to Skoolbo? Register your child or class now to get involved in our highly motivating World Cup!

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How to be a good reader

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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 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 maths.

 

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.

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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!


You can 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.

If you enjoyed it, please share it!

Zippy Shine is developed by Skoolbo.

Why learning through play is revolutionising our classrooms

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Living in the Digital Age means technology has become a necessity that has been woven into our lives and routines. The education sector is no different! Utilising digital tools and games for teaching reflects the shift to a more efficient learning structure within modern classrooms. Blended learning – the education program that integrates technology into the bulk of content delivery and classroom instruction – has been rapidly on the rise. Among these digital tools lies the often untapped potential of educating students through game-based learning.

Think of the smash hit Angry Birds and how the game mechanics work – you try to knock down buildings by projecting spherical objects with a slingshot. Now think about how – if applied to a physics class – students might be able to learn about the physics behind projectile motion, velocity, and acceleration. The ever-popular Minecraft game operates with the simple premise of world-building using blocks. This innately allows children to develop their spatial recognition and complex planning skills all while playing a game! Similarly, Skoolbo offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a virtual world, where they watch their personalized avatars race and dance as they answer literacy and numeracy questions. The enjoyment children get from playing results in true engagement with their own learning. Before they know it, students are mastering skills ranging anywhere from vocabulary and sentence creation to telling time and multiplying.

Furthermore, Skoolbo fosters motivation and teamwork through its fun competitions. The Duelbo feature allows students to challenge a peer to beat their top score – an engaging way to promote some healthy competition among classmates. Involving friends gets children excited about what they are doing, and it motivates them to continue playing. Skoolbo also features Classbo, a tool that allows teachers to set benchmark goals for their classes. This compels all the students to work collectively to reach those targets! The big event everyone looks forward to is the annual Skoolbo World Cup, where students get to compete against their peers from around the world!

 

MOTIVATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT

A big challenge in education is figuring out how to motivate reluctant learners. Common recommendations include praising students, rewarding positive behavior and finding ways to nurture intrinsic motivation within the student. Game-based learning allows students to feel enthusiastic about their learning experiences. Skoolbo allows students to customise their avatars so that they can have a personal connection and – by extension – will forge a special bond with their in-game character. This makes the game more meaningful for students overall!

Another benefit of learning through play is that students need not be in the classroom for this to happen! In fact, students can opt to use a learning app – such as Skoolbo – at home. This allows them to learn in a more relaxed environment, thus removing any stress associated with being in a formal school setting. Furthermore, it gives parents the opportunity to see their children actively engaging in learning while at home.

Skoolbo’s adaptive algorithm also plays a key part in ensuring student success. It scales the content difficulty depending on the student’s input, thus crafting a personally designed learning pathway for each student. This also makes sure that students won’t feel bored or stressed if the pacing is too slow or too fast, respectively.

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT TEACHERS?

Teachers have much to benefit from employing learning through play. To begin with, this boosts student morale. Secondly, teachers can see students’ progress based on how well they are doing in the game. Skoolbo’s Teacher Dashboard displays results for each student, making it easy for teachers to track how well each student is doing individually. Teachers can use that actionable data to assess and gauge where their students are compared to their expectations.

Students who learn through play experience an enjoyable and highly engaging learning process which in turn develops a natural love of learning. Game-based learning through edtech is a powerful tool for any teacher.

Want to know more about the effectiveness of  game-based learning through Skoolbo? We crunched some pretty big numbers recently, analysing key metrics of improvement from millions of children who play Skoolbo from around the world! Read the white paper!

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

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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.

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!