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Have a question and need to speak to a Square Panda expert? Check out our frequently-asked questions for quick answers or reach us via email or phone below.

FAQ

Technical support

Mobile and tablet devices, playset, logging in, hardware accessories, etc.

Instructional support

Introducing Square Panda to the classroom, best practices, customizing words, etc.

Teacher Portal

Mobile and tablet devices, playset, logging in, hardware accessories, etc.

Implementing Square Panda

Just purchased Square Panda for your school? What to do next…

Purchasing Square Panda

How it works for classrooms and administrators, next steps, etc.

Technical support

Mobile and tablet devices, playset, logging in, hardware accessories, etc.

Which tablets are supported by Square Panda?

Square Panda supports both iPad and Android tablets. Please review this list for which models of each are supported with our offerings.

All tablets must have the following technology:

  • Bluetooth LE (Bluetooth 4.0 and above)
  • WiFi capabilities
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1.2GHz Processor (recommended)
Apple
  • Works with iOS 9.x, 10.x, 11.x, or 12.x.
  • If you do not know which iPad device you have in your possession, you can check by going to Settings>General>About>Model.
SquareLand

Please note that SquareLand runs more slowly on older devices.

  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini 4
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Pro 9.7"
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad 2018
  • iPad Pro 12.9"
  • iPad Pro 11
  • iPad 4
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad 6th generation
10 Classic Reading Games
  • iPad Pro (2017) 12.9"
  • iPad Pro (2017) 10.5"
  • The iPad (2017)
  • iPad Air 2 (6th gen)
  • The iPad Air (5th gen)
  • iPad Pro (1st gen)
  • iPad Pro (1st gen) 12.9"
  • iPad (4th gen)
  • iPad (3rd gen)
  • iPad mini 4 (4th gen mini)
  • iPad mini 3 (3rd gen mini)
  • iPad mini 2 (2nd gen mini)

Is it okay to use protective cases on the tablets?

Yes. The tablets connect to the playset via Bluetooth, so the case doesn’t interfere with the connection.

Can students use earbuds/headphones with Square Panda?

Yes, Square Panda encourages you to use earbuds or headphones when working with Square Panda, especially in centers. Students haven’t fully developed their hearing yet at an early age. Not only does this equipment allow them to focus on their own activity, it could likely help them to better hear the letter sounds and prompts.

Sometimes the playset shuts off while my students are playing. Is there a setting I can change to increase the time before it shuts off?

Yes, the Square Panda playset is shipped with the Battery Saver feature enabled to save on battery life. To disable this feature, log into any game, go to Manage > Main Menu > Manage Playset > Battery Saver > Disable. Please note the battery will drain faster with this feature disabled.

Do you have to use the QR code to connect to the playset?

No, there are two ways to connect the tablet to the playset. If you would prefer not to use the QR Code to connect, you can rename the playset and manually pair the tablet with the playset. Once the steps below are completed, select the Manually Pair to Playset option on the screen when beginning a session, choose the correct playset on the screen, and begin.
  • To do this, follow these steps: Manage > Main Menu > Manage Playset > Rename Playset.
  • Square Panda recommends labeling the playsets each with a different name (Ex: A1, A2, A3).
    • You can use a permanent marker on the front of the playset to label them, or even a piece of tape, if you prefer.
  • If you are in a classroom that is next to another classroom using Square Panda and Bluetooth signals are strong enough to see Square Panda playsets in another classroom, consider alternate naming conventions for each classroom (Ex: A1, B1, etc).

I am having trouble logging into the games on my tablet, what can I do to resolve this?

First, we recommend restarting your tablet. Many times this resolves the issue.

  • If this doesn’t work, try logging into the Teacher Portal via the browser. Confirm the username and password works in the Teacher Portal, and if not, we recommend resetting your password.
  • You can use the “Forgot your password” on the tablet within the app or on the Teacher Portal from your browser.
  • Ensure your tablet is connected to the WiFi and has an Internet connection. Contact Square Panda Education Support team if you are still unable to log in.

My students aren’t showing up in the app, but I see them on the browser in the Teacher Portal, what can I do?

There are several reasons this issue might occur.

  • Ensure your tablet is connected to your WiFi network and has an Internet connection.

What happens if we lose a Smart letter that comes with the Square Panda playset?

First, we recommend logging into the Square Panda Teacher Portal and go to the Settings page (found in the “Welcome ” link in the top right corner of the web page) and click on the Lost Letters tab. Select the letters on this chart that are currently missing with your playset. When students are working in the games, the game will recognize the letter is missing and play the letter on the screen as if the student had placed it in the tray so the student doesn’t get “stuck”. Next, contact the Square Panda Education Support team at education-support@squarepanda.com to request replacement letters. Each playset includes up to 5 replacement letters as part of the warranty.

Instructional support

Introducing Square Panda to the classroom, best practices, customizing words, etc.

How frequently should my students use Square Panda in the classroom?

There are different recommendations based on age, grade level, student abilities, and classroom implementation type. We recommend contacting a Square Panda Education Client Success team member to review further.

Do you have a recommendation for how to introduce students to Square Panda?

Yes, we recommend introducing Square Panda to your students first with small or large group instruction. This allows you to introduce the games to the students, model how the games should successfully be played, and ensure they have the opportunity to each take a turn playing to demonstrate they understand and have the necessary beginning skills (hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, early concepts of following prompts) to begin playing independently as a next step. If your student displays some but not all skills, we recommend having a teacher aide or another student pair with the student to progress further towards independence.

What types of classroom instruction are supported by Square Panda?

Square Panda can utilized in many ways within a classroom, including:

  • Large group instruction
  • Consider incorporating your interactive board (Ex: Smart or Promethean, etc.)
  • Small group instruction
  • Center-based rotations (1:1 ratio with a student:playset or multiple students: playset, Teacher/aide + student: playset)
  • Pull-out Resource - with 1:1 ratio or small group
  • These are just a few of the ways you can utilize Square Panda with students!

Can all of my students benefit from Square Panda?

In most cases, yes but it will depend on the grade level and developmental level of your students. Square Panda offers personalized instruction based on the needs of the student. We recommend you refer to our teacher resource materials such as the Curriculum Guide, SquareLand Curriculum by Grade Level, Game Decision Tree and Leveling Options.

Can I add our classroom words to the Square Panda learning games that we are working on for reinforcement?

Yes! Square Panda’s Lagoon allows teachers to incorporate your own vocabulary words and flashcards as an opportunity to reinforce classroom instruction. Lagoon has over 4000 words in the lexicon, but the educator has the ability to add words into the word bank and add your own custom images to personalize your classroom’s learning experiences. The educator is able to add up to 5 images per word, which supports generalization and comprehension. To add your custom words to the word bank, log into the Square Panda Teacher Portal, and go to the Settings page (found in the “Welcome ” link in the top right corner of the web page) and click on the Customize tab. Click Add New Word, which will allow you to add the words you choose, along with the images selected for those words.

Does Square Panda offer flashcards for Lagoon for guided instructional practice?

Yes! The flashcards enhance the Square Panda Lagoon game in innovative ways. They extend instruction, guide practice, and help emergent and pre-emergent readers. The cards extend visual and kinesthetic learning, supplementing the Square Panda tactile Smart Letters and visual and auditory interactions. These flashcards can be used for centers, small group instruction, or individual 1:1 with the student:playset working to reinforce the skills identified for each student’s personalized instruction by the teacher.

Why does the Square Panda playset only have capital letters?

At Square Panda we realize how important lowercase letters are in early literacy instruction. We start with uppercase letters because (according to research) they are visually easier to discriminate for young learners. Capital letters are made with similar shapes that help kids start to build fine motor skills, which is a great way to build early reading confidence. As learners advance, they are introduced to lower case letter instruction in our digital games which has a built-in response for the upper-case physical letters. Square Panda incorporates lower case letters within the game curriculum, through the use of flashcards and ancillary worksheets.

Here’s some captures of research we used:

  • Visually easier to discriminate: It is common practice to teach the names and shapes of the uppercase letters before the lowercase letters because the former are visually easier to discriminate and provide an anchor for learning lowercase letters (e.g. as advised in Adams, 2013; ELA/Literacy and ELD Instruction white paper).
  • More commonly known by preschoolers: Upper case letters tend to be common in environmental print and young children tend to know more upper than lower case letters in preschool. This is important as alphabet knowledge is known to be one of the most important predictors of later reading outcomes.
  • Easier to teach in writing: capital letters are made with simpler shapes (lines and curves), therefore children will have more success early on. The use of lines and curves to teach capital letter formation is seen in many places but was made popular by Jan Olson’s Handwriting Without Tears©. Teaching uppercase before lowercase affords the younger children the time they need to develop critical perceptual-motor concepts. Teaching capitals first teaches young children the essential top-to-bottom stroke and builds confidence that they can learn to print (Taras, Brennan, Gilbert, & Reed, 2011).

Teacher Portal

Mobile and tablet devices, playset, logging in, hardware accessories, etc.

What is the URL to log in to the Square Panda Teacher Portal

Is there a Square Panda Teacher Portal User Guide?

Yes, the Square Panda Teacher Portal User Guide can be found HERE

How do I create a teacher account in the Square Panda Teacher Portal?

Your school or district administrator must add the teacher account and classroom. An account requires a license and your school or district determines how those licenses are assigned and distributed. Once added, the new educator will receive an email to activate and create a password to begin.

What features are available to me as the teacher in the Square Panda Teacher Portal?

The Square Panda Teacher Portal allows teachers the ability to utilize and manage the following:

  • Add/Remove/Edit students
  • Assign students to your classroom
  • Customize the word bank for Lagoon
  • Declaring lost letters
  • View student and classroom data on the Dashboard page

How do you move students from class to class each school year and keep their data?

Square Panda recommends leaving the current classroom and creating a new classroom for the upcoming school year. You can name your classroom by year to keep track (Ex: Smith 2018-2019, Smith 2019-2020) If you want to remove students from a current classroom, log into the Teacher Portal, go to Setup from the top navigation panel, then go to Manage Classes > Manage Roster > Remove from Class. This will remove the student from your classroom, but leave the student profile active so another teacher can enroll that student in their classroom (for example when a student transitions from Kindergarten to 1st grade and both grades are using Square Panda).

What’s the best way to share a student’s data with parents?

Square Panda allows teachers to view the student data in the Square Panda Teacher Portal. From the Teacher Portal, you can print the page you are viewing on your computer screen, or choose the Export button to export the data to a spreadsheet for viewing and/or printing.

How many students can I have in my Square Panda classroom roster?

Please contact your school or district coordinator who is managing the Square Panda implementation. The staff will know how to manage and distribute the licenses purchased for your program

Who do I contact if I would like to add another educator to my classroom?

A Square Panda classroom subscription allows one primary teacher plus 2 resource (para, aide, specialist, etc.) teachers to be enrolled in the classroom. To add a resource teacher to you classroom follow these steps: log into the Teacher Portal, go to Setup from the top navigation panel, then go to Manage Classes > Manage Roster > Educators > Add Educator and select the name of the educator and their role. If you do not see the name of the educator to add, a district or school administrator will first need to create an account for them before they can be assigned to your classroom.

Do you offer training for Square Panda implementations?

Yes! Please contact our Square Panda Education Client Success team at education-support@squarepanda.com to review the options available and determine which training options best serve your program’s needs.

What resources from Square Panda are available for me to stay up to date with the games, Teacher Portal, webinars and product updates?

Please be sure to sign up for our Square Panda Educator Community updates here

You can also follow us here:

Implementing Square Panda

Just purchased Square Panda for your school? What to do next…

We have purchased Square Panda, what are the next steps to implement in our program?

Square Panda sends the coordinator designated by your program to implement Square Panda a Welcome email with a “Getting Started” guide and next steps, which includes scheduling a call with our Education Client Success team to assist in the success of your implementation. Please contact us at education-support@squarepanda.com to review.

Purchasing Square Panda

How it works for classrooms and administrators, next steps, etc.

I am interested in learning more about how to purchase Square Panda for my school/district, can someone contact me to learn more about next steps?

Square Panda would love the opportunity to talk with you to learn more about how our learning system might be a fit for your students and educators. Please use this form to complete your contact information and an Education Consultant will reach out to review further.

Other questions or comments?

Complete the short form below and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

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Other ways to reach us:

877.469.5660
Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (CT)
Monday through Friday

education-support@squarepanda.com