Friday, September 18, 2015

Sumdog Launched in Grades 2 - 6!

All students in grades 2 - 6 have been given a log-in to our new math practice website, Sumdog. Each student is part of the Our Lady of Fatima School subscription. As long as they log-in with the username, password, and school code, their activity will be tracked. There is no need for you to purchase any subscription. This site will help students to practice math skills while playing short, engaging games with other classmates and students around the world who are also subscribed to Sumdog.
Our school bookmark is
Our school code is ourlady76853, and each student has a unique three letter username and password.

The program will "learn" the student's skill level during the first 150 - 200 questions and adapt accordingly. So while students choose the games they play, the program will offer the math questions. Teachers will also be able to set challenges and competitions to target particular skills or activity goals for groups of students or individual students.

New features this year are goal setting and progress tracking through the Progress Hub. Teachers, parents, and students can all track their progress and results.

Please take some time to read more about Sumdog here. This is the parent information page. It is also interesting to watch your child play the games, seeing the kinds of questions that they are presented with and their success rate.

Teachers will also be able to set quizzes that students will do upon logging into Sumdog. These quizzes give the teacher realtime data about who is successful and who is struggling with a concept covered in class.

If your child is experiencing difficulty logging into Sumdog, please email me and I will send you their log-in information and help troubleshoot as best I can. There are also Sumdog apps available for tablets and phones. So download the ones for your child's devices and they will never have an excuse not to practice their math!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Growth Mindset & the Power of "YET"

If you happened to read my profile, then you will know that I am excited about the research that has been done on how learners (both children and adults) can increase their achievement potential by shaping their attitude and approach to learning and its obstacles and challenges with a Growth Mindset. If you haven't already, take 10 minutes to watch this very brief Ted Talk about the power of "YET" and its contribution to what has been termed a Growth Mindset.

Try it on yourself. The next time you catch yourself saying, "I cannot (insert the new skill you would like to acquire or that you struggle with) and add the word YET to the end of that thought. It may transform how you view this challenge/problem/failure.

Have a look at the bulletin board that is outside my classroom. It is built on the power of YET and a growth mindset. When we change our words, and ultimately our approach, to the task of learning, we begin to adopt a Growth Mindset. These are in "kid-friendly" language and are geared specifically to Math, but really can be applied to any area of learning. You can help your children tremendously when they are frustrated by helping them re-frame their frustrations toward a Growth Mindset.
**If you are interested in these sheets, I am happy to share the files with you. They might be good reminders for your child in their homework area. Just send me an email, and I'll send you the file.

It's important for children to see us, the adults in their lives, struggling and evaluating our own successes and sharing with them how we face and deal with challenges. In future posts on Growth Mindset, I will share with you how I support students in re-framing the barriers to their learning to push them toward Growth Mindset. I am sure that students will identify roadblocks and how to re-frame them, so I see these 9 statements as being something that will be added to, changed, and built upon throughout the year.