We want to help you get the most out of DoodleMaths, so here is a handy checklist to help you get started!
1. Complete the calibration process before sending login details home
No matter how good the instructions are that you send home, some parents will help their child too much in the initial stages – meaning the application builds up an understanding of the parents learning profile, not the students. In such an instance, you may need to recalibrate the work program through the teacher dashboard.
2. Check the programme has calibrated correctly
This can sometimes happen in the early stages, such as if a child has a bad days or a parent helps (see above). To check, go to Leaderboards in the Teacher Dashboard and arrange your class by DoodleMaths Age. Are these roughly aligned to your assessment of their abilities? In a class of 30, there may well be a couple that are not.
If that’s the case, then go to Actions and force a recalibration. Another sign that a work program is too hard is if the percentage accuracy is too low over a long period of time. But the best way to check is through weekly small-group guided DoodleMaths sessions, much like you might with reading – you’ll soon spot a child who is finding it too difficult or too easy.
3. Encourage usage at home
Set high but achievable expectations as you would with any other homework. Earning 50-100 stars per week equates to each child answering an extra 4000 questions per year, each tailored to their individual needs and ability. This is why it has such a huge impact on results – so it’s reasonable to have this expectation with every student.
Schools using DoodleMaths most effectively often have weekly DoodleMaths clubs on a Thursday or Friday to help children not meeting their target.
4. Try not to overuse Added Extras
Adding lots of Extras is hard work from an administrative point of view. If you are just adding an extra to remediate red lights in Gap Analysis, bear in mind that the program is likely to add it in automatically in the next couple of weeks anyway.
Added Extras are best used where you need to remediate quickly, or if you are using the app to teach a group or class a particular topic.
5. Get parents involved
Your school will have done a great job encouraging parents to read with their child every night and we know this is integral to successful progression – the National Literacy Trust states that children who read regularly at home are 13x more likely to reach their expected reading level at the end of KS2.
By doing the same with DoodleMaths, you will see similar results – after all, the tools are there to help you. Make sure all parents have downloaded the Parent Connect app and use it to message a weekly challenge (100 stars? 7-day streak?). It will also save on admin, as parents will be able to retrieve and reset their own usernames and passwords.
6. Don’t try and do everything yourself
Running DoodleMaths in your school is largely administrative in nature – it requires little specialist knowledge in terms of the curriculum and teaching strategy. This means it’s a great opportunity for a HLTA or even an ICT technician to have a huge impact on whole-school results.
We’re always ready to support schools who use DoodleMaths – most of us in the office were, and still are, teachers, so we’d love to help! Feel free to contact your account manager, or visit our Teacher FAQ page.