I've been doing a bit of a series on using technology in the classroom.
If you want to catch up you can read about Mystery Skype here and I also did a post on Spelling City.
What I like about it:
You can pick a level that your students are currently struggling with, what you are currently doing in class, or just have them doing everything!
You can even put each student on something different.
The nice thing about Sumdog is that even though all the student levels may be different in your class they still play the exact same games and they play against each other. No one needs to know that Sammy may be doing addition and Violet is on division.
There are so many games to choose from... my students LOVED playing this!
The "store" opens after school hours (although, I guess it would depend on when your school is done). I LOVE this... it means that when students are playing it during school hours they have to be playing the games and not wasting their time in the store buying things for their houses or new clothes for their character. You can open the store early... I think I did this once for like the last 10 minutes of a class. I didn't tell them about it and I'm not sure if any of my students realized it was open.
You can see how your students are doing at the levels you put them based on how many questions they are getting right/wrong. The games are pretty much like flash cards... you want to get a quicker response than your opponents to win pretty much.
As a teacher you can even play the games! My students LOVED it when I showed up in the games to play them.
You can even create contests for your students to play in... I didn't do this. As a beginning teacher I just didn't have time to do everything! But it might motivate students to play it more often.
With the free version you get a certain number of reports and you can choose when to do them... I never did the reports as I wasn't really using this as any kind of assessment. You can pay for a subscription which is $2/student
We only used Sumdog for math but you can use it for reading and writing as well (you have to pay to do the reading stuff though - also $2/student). The writing is basically to help you with your typing skills. Like I said... we never used it but I could see how my students would likely be more into that than something like All The Right Type.
My students were all about asking each other for their usernames so that you could add them as friends (a couple of them added me too... I'm feeling so loved!). I'm not sure what adding someone as your friend did. I imagine you could just see what their character looked like and their house. Maybe it also made it easier to find them when playing games?
My students really liked playing this game... I know for a fact that many went home and played it because they would talk about it the next day.
There are enough games in the free version to keep your students occupied. Mine never asked about the premium one. I am curious about the reading though... it could be worth it to pay the $2/student for that.
What I don't like about it:
It shows your first name and last initial. You have to register your students for it and they have to log in to use the website. Originally I just used all their first names with their last initial but because of privacy concerns I then sent home a letter giving parents the option to change their child's name on the site. I only had a couple parents that wanted to change it... one of my student's name was Batman on there... this is kind of a fun alternative because you wouldn't necessarily know which classmate you were playing in a game (unless they told you their secret identity of course).
It also says the country you are from. You aren't just playing people in your class... you are playing people all across the world. My students would all go to a game and go "one, two, three" and then click to start it... it pretty much guaranteed they would be playing each other.
Unlike in Spelling City for this one you have to remember a log in name and password. I made all my students passwords match the passwords they use at school so those were easy for them to remember. I think there is a way to change their log in name to whatever you want it to be but I just left it as whatever the program gave them. I wrote all their log in information on an index card for them and if they forgot any of their log in info they would just ask for their cards. Many of my students wrote it in their agendas as well for when they were at home.
How I used it:
I had one student that wasn't allowed to have a log in for the site... everyone else was. So I used it as one of the options during our scheduled computer class when we didn't have other things to be doing in there (the student that wasn't allowed I just put on another math website).
If I had more computers in my classroom I could have used it during their math centers... I would have LOVED this. (if you have ipads or tablets in your classroom I am almost positive that you can play the math games on these).
So, how would you use Sumdog in your classroom?
Do you think you'll be trying it this school year?
Also, stay tuned because I have at least one more idea of how to use technology in your classroom!