Every spring, kindergarten through fourth-grade students at Abner Creek Academy in Duncan, South Carolina take the NWEA math Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®) assessment. Ann Salway, third-grade teacher at Abner, analyzed her students’ second-grade RIT growth between the fall and spring of second grade and saw that 83 percent of her students had not met their growth projection. Presented with what seemed like an uphill battle of closing learning gaps quickly, Salway looked for a solution. She could take advantage of DreamBox Learning to provide her students with the personalized support needed to ensure they had the skills and knowledge to be their best on the upcoming spring assessment. By knowing exactly where her students were falling behind or not understanding, Salway could use DreamBox to automatically deliver the right lesson and give individualized help for each student.
Salway, who was unfamiliar with DreamBox before coming to Abner Creek, is now a strong proponent of the program’s value for her and her students. She believes that DreamBox has helped her students score well on assessments. “I can proudly say that those same students not only met their growth projection but 77 percent exceeded their growth projection.” In addition to excelling on the MAP test, her students also did well on the South Carolina State Assessment, the SC Ready state test: 90 percent scored in the highest band; the other 10 percent scored met.
Salway says she is amazed at the level of learning her students experience by using the program. She says the combination of her teaching and DreamBox’s ability to individualize and personalize math instruction has helped her students truly understand math. “In March 2016, my students completed about 9,000 lessons during the weeks leading up to the assessment. Completing that many lessons before state and district testing had a huge impact on their performance.”
DreamBox continues to be a part of the daily agenda. Students work on DreamBox before class starts, after school, or whenever they have extra time. “During math, I’ll teach a mini lesson and then they work in small groups, according to where they are in DreamBox. This year’s class is ahead of where my class was last year at this time, because of DreamBox,” she says.
As for the students, they continue to enjoy the program. “They ask me all the time, ‘Are we doing DeamBox next?’ For as many lessons as we’ve done, it’s great that that they are still motivated.”