Here's to a rocking school year!
“What are the two most valuable resources in education? Time and money!” were the phrases I heard on repeat this week. As Allison Mateus & I were spending quality time in Utah at the STEM Action Center, and at East Sandy, North Park, and Butler Schools to discuss supporting educators during the upcoming school year. So I thought I’d share some time-saving tips from the Professional Development Team for back-to-school.
The Professional Development Team’s tips to an excellent first month with DreamBox Learning®:
For the first 30-days of school, setting routines and expectations is everything! We do this for our class processes and procedures, but often see screen time as an opportunity to catch up on other things. Instead use the time to monitor student activity and nip negative behaviors in the bud.
Understanding DreamBox Learning
- Log into your Insight Dashboard™, click the Resources tab, and select the NEW feature “Educator Introduction to DreamBox Learning®” interactive pertaining to your grade level. This can be viewed individually, in a PLC, by grade level, or as a whole staff. Take notes, especially when best practices are discussed!
- Want more playtime as a student? To play additional lessons select the appropriate grade level to access the demo environment: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, or Middle School.
- Settings Tab Adjustments: Click on the Settings button, click on the Roster tab
- Language: Do I need to change any language settings to Spanish? This can be changed multiple times throughout the year, if needed.
- New Users Only: Initial Placement Level – Must be done BEFORE students access their account for the 1st time. Using effective data, determine if any students are still working more than 1.5 grade levels below their age assigned grade level. If so, adjust their content level starting point to meet them where they are performing.
- Print Log-in Cards: Schools with district portals can skip this step. These can be found within the top banner once you click on a classroom in your dashboard. These are needed ONLY if students are logging in using the DreamBox Learning URL.
- (Optional) Review the Resources Tab; check out the Motivators Tab
- If you are using iPads, download the DreamBox Learning app.
Student Introduction: The First 2-3 Weeks
- Allow 30-40 minutes the first day to introduce DreamBox Learning to your students. This time will allot for any unexpected snags. Afterwards, 20- to 30-minute sessions are ideal.
- Establish best practices with your students.
Maintaining Fidelity: After 2-3 Weeks
- Set lesson completion goals for your students.
- Choose a day to review your data.
- Check to make sure students met their goal for the week. Celebrate!
- Does any student require a follow-up conversation to help them refocus?
- Become comfortable using the Overview and Activity Reports
Being an educator is an overwhelming responsibility, whether it’s your first year teacher or your final year before retiring. Here’s to another year riding on the roller-coaster of education.
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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