3 Strategies For Students With Low Lesson Completion

As a DreamBox Professional Development Specialist, one of the most common pain points for teachers, regarding student engagement in DreamBox, revolves around students that open and close lessons without completing them.

Below are some scenarios of what you can do when a student is consistently jumping in and out of DreamBox Lessons based on the student’s response:

  • Is the student afraid to make a mistake or unsure of what to do?
    1. Remind the student that mistakes are opportunities to learn. When playing a video game, if you lose points or the character dies, what do you do? Usually, we try to determine why that did not work or what could be done differently the next time we play the game. Encourage the class to use this same strategy when working in DreamBox.
    2. Inform the student that they need to finish lessons so that DreamBox will know what lesson to take the student to next. If the lesson is too tricky, DreamBox will determine what the student is struggling with and take them to a lesson to help them.
    3. Provide the student with a token or permission to not finish one lesson each week. Once the learner exits a lesson without completing it, the student hands in the token and must complete all lessons for the remainder of the week.
    4. Celebrate lesson completion in your class! Have a weekly/monthly drawing for students that did not exit any lessons. The reward could be as simple as providing Class Dojo points or having students that did not exit any lessons stand while the class has a round of applause.

  • Does the student want to appear to the teacher as if they are working in DreamBox? (You know that student that is good at looking busy but not actually working.)
    1. Sometimes the student is surprised to discover that you can tell what they do or do not do within the teacher dashboard and that is enough. Those orange triangles on the Overview tab in the Insight Dashboard indicate if the learner may be a “random clicker” and purposefully failing lessons versus struggling.
    2. Try using the strategies from the scenario above.
    3. If the pupil is particularly stubborn, keep the Activity tab in the Insight Dashboard open and redirect the student back to the lesson when you see that the learner did not finish.

  • Does the student often play video games outside of school? The pupil may think that there could be a secret prize (referred to by gamers as an Easter Egg) for not making any mistakes.
    1. Inform the student that DreamBox does not have any “Easter Eggs” hidden by the designers in the program.

What works for you in your class, with your students?

Melissa Bylow

Professional Development Specialist at DreamBox Learning
Melissa has a passion for learning and a sincere desire to have an impact on radically transforming the way the world learns. She has her master’s degree in Education with a focus on Educational Technology and Blended Learning together with 11 years of teaching experience at both the elementary and middle school levels. Since 2013, working with Suzhou Learning Power Education Technology Co. Ltd., Melissa has been participating in education reform panels across China, teaching demonstration lessons of Project Based Learning, STEAM, Robotics, and 3-D Printing as well as contributing to grade-level lesson plans using Little Bits and KEVA planks.She has been a Professional Development Specialist with DreamBox Learning since February 2016.
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