In the classroom, Skoolbo could be used as a center activity or as a quick fluency drill. It might prove engaging to students in small doses so long as the teacher provides strong instructional support to promote deeper understanding. It isn't possible for teachers to assign activities to students or even select the math/literacy strand, so it may be difficult to match topics to those that have already been covered in class. Students can choose which topic to play; if teachers provide specific guidance and directions for which games kids should choose, they can have more control over which topics kids are quizzed on. Though Skoolbo may be a valid quiz-and-assessment option, these issues, along with the limitations of its pedagogical approach, could limit its usefulness as a teaching tool in most classrooms.Continue reading Show less
Skoolbo is a literacy and math quiz app that lets kids take quizzes and compete against other kid users around the world. When students log into Skoolbo for the first time, they complete a few assessments in literacy and math that are used to assess their ability and set up a series of activities to meet their individual needs. Skoolbo uses a proprietary "spiral learning algorithm" to adapt curriculum to each student regardless of age or grade level. Students can run through the activities presented by the website or pick their own. The curriculum includes literacy skills such as letter recognition, spelling, and vocabulary building. The math strand starts at counting to six and tops out at multiplying decimals. A new set of language games also introduce students to Spanish, Mandarin, and French. Skoolbo can be accessed through a desktop application (with 3-D graphics), the website (basic graphics), or tablet apps. Data is synced between devices and can be used offline.
Once it assesses students, Skoolbo presents a series of quizzes. Each quiz pits students against other avatars (presumably real students at other schools) in one-minute competitions. Students can also choose to play against their friends or teachers. All the questions are multiple-choice (often picking between two answers), and every activity follows the same competitive racing format. When students finish an activity, another one is queued up automatically, usually alternating between math and literacy skills. There are lots of rewards and points for playing games and performing well, including an augmented-reality feature that makes the avatars seem as though they're 3-D.
Skoolbo is excellent at quizzing and providing skill assessment but not as good for teaching and deeper learning. That makes Skoolbo's utility dependent upon what teachers are looking for. The game and racing setup can get complex and are entirely irrelevant to the learning material, even to the point of being distracting. Yet the engaging avatars, the high-quality graphics, the video-game feel, and a comprehensive reward system are likely to appeal to students. Teachers who want a fun way to quiz and assess students' math and ELA skills may find Skoolbo a good option.
However, it’s important to note that these kinds of drills aren't likely to promote actual learning beyond rote memorization. Without instructional tools or videos, or hints that guide, students are left to merely click multiple-choice answers. Students may tire of the format, as well as the lack of diverse, rigorous tasks. And for teachers, without better CCSS reporting or grade-level alignment, it may be difficult to figure out what kids are actually mastering.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1
Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:
10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.” b.
The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).
Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.
Key Standards Supported
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.
Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Reading Foundational Skills
Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.
Read words with inflectional endings.
Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Read on-level text with purpose and understanding.
Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings
Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.
Decode words with common Latin suffixes.
Decode multisyllable words.
Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
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