A Pirate’s Life for Me

Frog Blog

Ahoy there me’harties.

On Monday 19th September i am learning/FrogPlay is celebrating ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’ by dressing everything up. That’s right, as pirates!

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If you log in to i am learning/FrogPlay there’s a ship themed wallpaper for your room which turns it into a pirate ship. To go alongside this, there’s a free pirate game, a half price pet parrot and a pirate avatar. We want as many of you as possible to get involved in the fun as the ships won’t sail themselves.

If you or your school is doing anything special for ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’ then tweet us a picture here. Cap’n says if you’re seaworthy we might send you some treasure! Shiver me timbers.

By Simeon Yianni, Marketing Assistant at Frog Education

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Tim Oates on Assessment

Frog Blog

Tim Oates on Assessment

Tim Oates, of Cambridge Assessment was a keynote speaker at Frog16 this year, providing delegates with his insight into the best of teaching and learning, specifically the best of assessment from around the world, and helping to dispel the myth that we are the most tested nation in the world. That said, he laid down the challenge we have in a life after levels and addressed key issues such as teacher workload.

A confusing change

Many of those in attendance commented that the focus on assessment after levels has been a confusing change, but Tim’s explanation aided understanding in how flawed the level system was whilst highlighting the benefits of regular assessments for learners.

You can read more about what Tim had to say at the Frog conference in his thought provoking article Cant’s Stand the Heat? Look for the Light, published earlier this week…

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GUEST BLOG: Patrick Hayes, Director of BESA

Frog Blog

We need innovators in learning, not cost-cutting in UK schools

As the trade association for UK education suppliers, we at the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) feel privileged to be able to provide members with regular industry “barometers” drawing upon research into head teachers budgets and suppliers’ forecasts, which we have been undertaking over the past three decades.

The current situation, to give it to you straight, is not great for either schools or suppliers. Last year, the newly elected Conservative government announced not just what amounts to real-terms cuts to school budgets, but also the decimation of the Education Services Grant, which had been used, among other things, as a “slush fund” for academies to procure products and services. While not as bad as expected, this year’s budget – announced in March – did not deliver the good news schools badly needed to hear.

This is coupled with…

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Frog conference Birmingham: Summary

Frog Blog

The Frog Birmingham conference was on Tuesday and people from across the country attended a beautifully sunny day at the IET Birmingham Austin Court. The day was jam packed full of Keynote speakers (Tim Oates and Hugh Greenway), interactive sessions, workshops and 121’s.

The day wasn’t like one of our usual conferences. We opted for the #FrogSchoolTour this year as part of #Frog16 with a number of small, more personal conferences across the country. These appointments worked really well and meant that we had more time with our schools, looking at their specific issues and putting definite plans together for a stronger partnership with Frog. The penultimate leg of the tour was Birmingham on Tuesday and the last leg sees us in London on Thursday 23 June.

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Gareth welcomed everyone to the venue and passed straight over to Tim Oates who gave a brilliant presentation elaborating on ‘The future…

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I am learning / Frog Professional Development Events

I am delighted to invite you to attend one of our professional development conferences in Birmingham on Tuesday 7 June or London on Thursday 23 June.

Since joining the Frog family, you’ll have heard of the annual Frog Conference. This year we have two conferences. They are both focused on helping you overcome the challenges you face around assessment and achieving more with less resource. You’ll also hear how our schools are using technology in innovative ways to maximise school budgets.

In Birmingham we have Katherine Day from Castleton Primary School talking about FrogPlay and our Deputy MDs Mike Wilkinson and Steve Holt will be there to answer all your questions.

With major keynote speakers, the first half of the day is focused on helping senior leaders to balance the demands of a reduced budget with an increased expectation to deliver great learning.

We’ll help you to:

  • think differently
  • develop real approaches to take back to the classroom
  • create strong networks with your peers for continuous support

In the afternoon there will be a series of school run workshops to share best practice on how to get more from your Frog technology.

This isn’t a ‘sit and listen’ conference, this is a practical day to help you find the answers to the issues you face every day.

We really hope you can make it.

Book your FREE place here: http://www.frogeducation.com/frog16

Best wishes

Michael Wilkinson
Deputy Managing Director

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New GCSE quizzes

As you begin to get ready to start teaching your new GCSE courses, you’ve probably started to wonder about whether the I am Learning / Frog Play quizzes will reflect the new specifications. Over the coming months we will be reviewing and updating our content to reflect the new specifications. Once the specifications have been finalised, you will see content start to appear- you may have noticed that some subjects have begun to be updated already.
To make sure that we are providing you with what your students need, we are currently on the look out for subject specialists to help us get our content ready for September. If you are familiar with the new specifications and would like to help us review and update our content then we’d love to hear from you. We are interested in hearing from specialists across all subjects. Please email tanya@iamlearning.co.uk with your contact details and the subject that you would be interested in working on.
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Our new update is a real game changer

We’re really excited to announce the new I am learning and FrogPlay release. We think it’s a real game changer (pardon the pun). It’s the start of great things for Frog Play and I am learning so keep your eyes peeled for future updates.

The release is to provide extra tools as you enter the upcoming revision period. You can view the full release notes attached, but we’ve picked our top three updates to share with you now.

Click here to view the full Release Guide.

Curriculum Linked Videos: We’ve introduced videos for Maths and English exercises from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4. These short videos explain the main elements and are perfect for revision, independent learning, homework and even flipped learning.

The videos are only available in FrogPlay and Play customers will get them automatically. If you’re an I am learning school and want to know more about converting to FrogPlay just hit reply.

Mastery Tool / Auto re-set assignments: Our new ‘multi-setting’ tools for assignments are perfect to check students are retaining knowledge. They’re designed to support mastery and check long term retention. Assignments can be automatically re-set in a week, three weeks, three months etc.

Create your own exam papers: You can cherry pick questions from any exercise to build your own exam papers. We’ve removed the 20 question limit so you can choose how many questions there are in any exercise.Frog Play and I am learning have helped millions of students to improve their results year on year. We’re really proud of the new release and we hope you love it too.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, training needs or want to discuss I am learning and FrogPlay, please get in touch.

 

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The new primary school times tables tests

Learning your times tables has always been a crucial part of primary education but it’s even more important now. The Government announced that every pupil in England will sit a statutory, screen-based times tables test by the age of 11.

We’ve got it covered here at Frog Towers. We’ve written all the content you need to teach pupils their times tables and it’s now live in FrogPlay and I am Learning. Just search for ‘times tables.’

What we know about the new tests

As part of the end of key stage 2 tests, an on-screen check will be used to test all tables up to 12×12. The test will be piloted by 3,000 pupils in 80 schools this summer. The plan is for all English primary schools to use the test in 2017. Nicky Morgan said schools will be held accountable for the results of the tests.

Times tables content in I am Learning / FrogPlay

Since we heard this news we’ve written and updated some awesome content in our products and it’s live now. If you search for ‘times tables’ in I am Learning or FrogPlay you will see over 50 activities to help your pupils learn, use and apply their tables. Pupils will be able to:

  • practice multiplication and division facts for each individual table
  • practice multiplication and division facts for groups of tables
  • apply multiplication and division facts to solve puzzles and problems

These have been assigned to specific year groups as set out in the National Curriculum 2014:

Year 2 pupils are expected to recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables, including recognising odd and even numbers

Year 3 pupils are expected to recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables

Year 4 pupils are expected to recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 × 12 (You will find separate activities on the 6,7 and 9 times tables and the 11 and 12 times tables within year 4)

What about Year 5 and 6?

As you will know, year 5 and 6 pupils are expected to consolidate, use and apply all of the tables so you won’t find any specific times tables allocated to them. There are a number of activities that will come up in a times tables search for years 5 and 6. These are flagged as relevant activities as they draw heavily on tables knowledge relevant to these age groups.

Also, any pupil can access activities allocated to lower or higher years as they (or you) choose. For example, if you had a year 6 pupil who needed to consolidate their 7 and 8 times tables they would be able to access the relevant activities from years 3 and 4.

How FrogPlay and I am Learning helps pupils with their tables

Immediate feedback: Pupils don’t need to wait to find out whether or not they’ve got the right answer. The feedback loop is closed immediately, giving pupils a chance to identify what they need to learn and celebrate what they know.

It’s engaging and fun: completing tables activities within the context of a game of will help alleviate some of the anxiety pupils have with maths. It adds a healthy dose of enjoyment too which creates a better mindset for learning.

Encourages independent learning: pupils can access this content in their own time and be encouraged to identify where they need more practise and where they need to push themselves.

Tracking progress: the reports help you track pupils as they complete and re-visit activities. You can see the exact questions a child gets right and wrong so you know where to intervene.

On screen: It’s helpful to get pupils used to working online as the tests will be delivered this way.

We’re very excited about this new content and would love to hear what you think. We’ll keep an eye on all announcements and update our content as necessary but if you have any suggestions drop us a line at hello@frogeducation.com

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GCSE English updates

Over the summer, our team were working hard to update and extend our secondary content for English and English Literature to reflect the new aspects of the English National Curriculum.

Whilst the content will still be relevant for students working on the old specifications, you will find that what we have available is ideal to support learning and assessment for those students sitting GCSEs from 2016 onwards. A large number of our existing quizzes have been updated to incorporate the new subject content and assessment objectives and you’ll find lots of new quizzes that have been created.

In English Language, you will find questions and activities focused on critical reading and comprehension; summary and synthesis; evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features; and comparing texts. In addition to this we have reflected the renewed emphasis on the more technical aspects of language: including knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, alongside the correct use of grammar, punctuation and Standard English. Our key stage 3 resources have also been updated to help prepare these students for the new expectations once they enter key stage 4.

In English Literature, as you are probably aware, we already had coverage of a wide range of texts. Many of these continue to be relevant and have had additional questions inserted to help your students to achieve the new assessment objectives. We have also introduced activities based on texts that we haven’t previously covered, across the range of high quality texts specified: Shakespeare, 19th century novels, poetry since 1789 and those from modern Britain.

We hope that you find the updated content useful and we’d love to hear any feedback.

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Bug Fixes – 27/05/15

Bugs Resolved

Below is a list of bugs resolved as part of the latest FrogPlay / IAL hotfix release. Customers will receive this update on the evening of Wednesday 27th May 2015.

[ARJ-930-35824] – Resolved issues with the MIS import resetting points for existing users.

[CMJ-386-37645] – When setting a new piece of homework you will now be able to successfully filter on the field “Key Stage” with correct results appearing.

[EJB-372-98083] – School Administrators can now view and reply to messages.

[HRZ-815-80287] – Resolved issues and the data results for quizzes will now be consistent when viewed in FrogLearn as well if directly viewed within FrogPlay.

[INS-222-32825] – Increased the size of the images that are used for answering questions so that they can be clearly seen by users.

[KLP-205-50968] – Resolved issues with the question type “Match the words and meanings” marking answers as incorrect.

[LPG-735-20251] – Teachers and school administrators will now be able to successfully reset student passwords. Please note that this issue only impacted FrogPlay standalone customers.

[QMM-854-32387] – Teachers and school administrators can now play games that are still locked from a student view.

[RQF-816-44333] – Text can now easily be added to the quiz question type “Match Pairs” (previously a problem in Chrome browser).

[SYS-902-30843] – When allocating an exercise to a group of students the “Finish” button will now correctly appear.

[VDY-155-37020] – Resolved issues with results page in quizzes duplicating results for quizzes that were less then 20 questions.

[VWZ-889-40580] – Resolved issues when a user incorrectly entered their username and password at the standalone login screen. Please note that this issue only impacted FrogPlay standalone customers.

[WNC-363-39789] – Resolved issues with some school instances duplicating users instead of linking automatically to pre-existing accounts.

[XBO-960-57667] – Improved the seamless integration between FrogLearn and FrogPlay. Quiz results will now display correctly within FrogLearn and FrogPlay for new students without the need for them to login into FrogPlay first.

[YYA-894-71135] – Resolved issues in the Chrome browser whereby the current users details were being populated when adding users directly. This was only seen with Chrome v39.0.2171.65 or higher.

Removed the mandatory requirement to enter a “Subject” when editing a class to add a student.

Resolved issues with the action icons (such as publish, delete) moving upon the mouse icon hovering over them in Internet Explorer. Please note that this issue only impacted FrogPlay standalone customers.

When duplicating a quiz from FrogDrive the quiz name, key stage and subject will now be pre-populated with the original quiz data instead of appearing blank.

As a school administrator when selecting Download CSV for reports this will now open in a separate tab within your browser session.

Resolved an issue with leaderboards not displaying user correctly if in the top 12.

Should a quiz be created with a key stage of “EYFS” this will now display correctly within FrogDrive > Quizzes.

Additional filter when using ‘Find questions’ to build new exercises from questions in other exercises. Can now specifically filter for IAL content banks only or community exercises.

Resolved issue with student notifications when teachers provide homework feedback.

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