Monday, April 27, 2015

Sumdog

Sumdog is a free learning resource that numerous teachers in East Noble School Corporation have found to be very useful. It initially started as a mathematics skill and drill gaming platform and has since moved to the subject areas of reading and writing. I do not typically make a big fuss about skill and drill resources, but Sumdog is the exception.

I was originally introduced to Sumdog by Michelle Yoder four years ago. The topic came up because she was implementing it with her first graders when they would visit the computer lab. (Sumdog was not available on the iPad at that time.) By providing students and parents with their usernames and passwords and promoting it on her website/newsletter, parents began having students log in and play from home. She had a first-grade student answer over 1,000 math facts on Sumdog in a week...all on his own time from home.

What makes Sumdog unique that a student would want to answer so many math facts on his own time? The games are actually fun. They are competitive as they actually play other Sumdog users around the world. While they are stacking piles of junk, the user also earns "money" to spend on designing their character. Their avatar essentially becomes unique the more they earn. 

Teachers also like it as they can create competitions and challenges in their class. The challenges can be with students competing against each other or with any Sumdog user. Teachers can also have their students participate in regional and national challenges. This provides a lot of motivation to get the most points to represent their class and school. This creates a lot of math fact fluency! 

There are also reports that can be downloaded so that the teacher can gather. However, most of the quality reporting features are on the paid subscription only. Teachers using free accounts can only access how many problems were answer correctly and their percentage of accuracy. 

If you are interested in trying out Sumdog, feel free to use my resource posted below to get you started. On my resource, you can quickly see how to create your account, student accounts, access challenges and basic reports. Please make use of the table of contents on the third slide to access sections quickly.