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Congratulations to all the We Are Teachers DreamBox Sponsored Grant Winners

We would like to thank everyone that participated in the We are Teachers grant sponsored by DreamBox Learning. Our grant question “What is your favorite math lesson or project that easily adapts for all learners?” generated 193 excellent lesson ideas. We at DreamBox are inspired by the knowledge, passion, and dedication of today’s educators.

Congratulations to all the winners!

DreamBox provided 5 merit prizes of DreamBox Learning Math classroom licenses and one grand prize of a DreamBox Learning Math site license. The teacher panel at We are Teachers selected these winners based on the excellent quality of the grant submission and how closely the submissions matched the intent of the grant question. These winners are:

Grand prize winner:

  • Connie Moser, Intervention Specialist/ Jr High/High School, Crestview Local Schools, Convoy, OH

Merit winners below, each receives a 6 month classroom license:

  • Amanda Green, Instructional Facilitator, Omaha Elementary School, Omaha, AR
  • Dianna Bandhauer, Teacher, Lecanto Primary School, Lecanto, FL
  • Bonnie Arpin, Special Ed/music Teacher, Crotched Mountain School, Greenfield, NH
  • Erika Loucks, Math Teacher, Schoharie Central School, Schoharie, NY
  • Ruthie Rayner, Principal, Stanley Hupfeld Academy Charter School, OKC, OK

The 5 winners chosen by the usual voting process through We are Teachers are:

Read the winning grant submission teaching ideas below.

Come back next week to see more wonderful grant submissions that describe ways to individualize math instruction to meet the needs of all learners!

You can also register for our FREE online virtual manipulative teacher tools that develop students’ conceptual understanding and mathematical thinking.

Connie Moser’s submission:
Folded Paper Review
Each student is at a different level in my special needs classroom. At the end of the week, I assess the concepts taught that week on an individual yet group basis with the folded paper review. Each student is issued a blank 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of white paper. They are to fold it in half like a hamburger, then in half again like a card. (this is good practice for basic fractions and folding skills. When the assessment is taken, it also helps practice manipulating the paper because eventually the paper must be turned inside out to use the other side.) The paper helps the students to do individual problems, have only one problem to view at one time so it is not confusing, gives instant feedback, and lets the student know that as soon as the paper squares are filled, the assessment is over. They don’t have to wonder how many more problems before being done. I then put each student’s initial on the easle and give each student one problem, everyone doing the same concept but at greater or less difficulty. As soon as they are done, the answer is checked. If correct, a star is placed on the problem, if incorrect, a checkmark is given. The student’s turn the paper over and are ready for the next problem. As soon as all 8 squares on the paper are filled, the assessment is complete. I collect the papers and record the scores.

> Read full submission

Amanda Greene’s
Toll Booth
Students use their money sense to count out exact change to make it through toll booths around the room. The class is set up with different toll booths. Some of the students are the booth operators that take the money. So, they have to count to make sure it’s correct. The other students are the drivers that have to have exact change, in order to make it through to go to the next toll booth. Some of the tolls are an easy amount, and some of the tolls are harder. The harder booths make the students problem solve in order to figure it out.

> Read full submission

Dianna Bandhauer’s submission:
QR Code Math Scavenger Hunt
DescriptionUsing a smart phone, students will complete a math scavenger hunt. Each problem will include two QR codes. If the students get the correct answer he/she will then be given a QR codes that is a clue for the location of the next math problem. If the answer is incorrect the student will be sent to a practice/explanation area for additional help.

> Read full submission

Bonnie Arpin’s submission:
Counting Blues
I lay large cards with the numbers 1 – 12 on the floor. I give the students hand drums or homemade drums from boxes, pots, or plastic containers. I play 12 bar blues music (on a CD or with a guitar) and students take turns stepping on the numbers 1 at a time while all count out loud and tap drums or walk to this rhythm. 1 ch ch ch ch ch ch, 2 ch ch ch ch ch ch ch, 3 etc…. I change it up to include words about each student. Example: One, John has the blues and Two he’s got the counting blues, Three he’s got the red shirt blues and Four he’s got the laughing blues. I have two students who are blind, and I let them feel a tactile representation of the right number of squares as they step on each number. Having students involved with their whole bodies, voices and rhythm helps them learn the number sequence.

> Read full submission

Erika Loucks’ submission:
Creative Trigonometry Graphs
To assess the topic on trigonometry graphs, I do a three part assessment. In the first part students have to create a graph of a trig function that has 2 of the 4 possible transformations. (y = asinb(x-c)+d where a, b, c, and/or d have to be values other than 0 or1) There graph should be a creative piece; it could be some type of art work, photograph, frosted browines/cake, greeting card, poster, bumper sticker etc. The graph must be acurate and labeled correctly. They also need to graph the reciprical trig function. The second part of the assessment is a written piece where they have to use a different trig function and explain in words about its graph and the graph of its inverse. They must address the domain and range. They can write a process essay on how to graph it, a diary entry, a song, a poem or lyric of some sort, cartoon, etc. The third part of the assessment is a series of questions related to trig graphs, similar to regents type questions.

> Read full submission

Ruthie Rayner’s submission
Fun Mix
Given a simple recipe for trail mix. The student will shop local sale ads for the ingredients and collect coupons to reduce the price of each item. Students will subtract the coupons from the actual sales ads and create the shopping list. They will then come to the “store” that is set up in the classroom to purchase the necessary ingredients for thier recipe. They will practice buying these items and making change by adding and subtracting money amounts. The ingredients that they purchase will be measured out in fraction cups and students will work cooperatively to complete the trail(fun) mix recipe.

> Read full submission

Ingrid Scott’s submission:
mathtube: Mathematics in Movies
I would like for students to create a DVD which would be a compilation of videos demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the math topics covered. Students would be teaching students. They would use their creativity and talent (as directors, actors, musicians, and set and prop designers) to create a visual presentation of the content knowledge they have acquired.

> Read full submission

Jeanette Hogan’s submission:
Place Value Flip Chart
With place value being a difficult concept for most students, especially first graders, my plan is to incorporate visuals in my lesson that accommodate the different learning styles of my students. One of the visuals to be created is a place value flip chart. In addition to this chart, I will be incorporating number bonds, ten frames, and model drawings from Singapore Math to further develop the skill for mastery. By evenly cutting six pieces of construction paper in half, I created a dual chart…one side for the tens and one side for the ones place. On page one of the tens place, zero appears. On the side of the ones, zero also appears. Page two has the number one place in both the tens and the ones place. This process continues until all numbers from 0 – 9 are included. As each page is flipped, the student has the capability to represent all numbers from 0 – 99. Above the page with the number is an example of its base ten representation. To expedite things, the flip charts would be preassembled. The students would be responsible for placing the numbers 0 – 9 on each page, in addition to gluing base ten frames on the correct page. Double-digit numbers would be called out by the teacher. The student would be responsible for writing the number in different ways, such as expanded notation, written form for number words, pictorial representations, and The Common Core State Standards this flip chart would address would be:

  1. Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  2. Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction
  3. Number and Operations in Base Ten
  4. Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.

Ten frames would be used to extend this concept further. The inclusion of model drawings and number bonds will further broaden the students’ understanding of the place value concept.

> Read full submission

Susan Crooke’s submission:
Make it Concrete
When my students don’t understand something I take it back to the concrete. For example; to help my students understand the number system to twenty, we made our own mathracks with beads and pipecleaners stapled to cardboard. They used 5 beads of one color and then 5 beads of a second color on each pipecleaner. They use these mathracks to represent a number from 1 to 20. This also supports the work they are doing on Dreambox. We also use tens frames with tokens which is also used on Dreambox. My students now have a good understanding of the number system which they demonstrate by using shortcuts or more efficient methods such as sliding a whole row of beads and just saying “ten” (with enthusiasm). When my students are moving the beads I can “see” their thinking and and can be assured that they are engaged in their learning. *NOTE: Register for DreamBox Learning’s free MathRack teacher tool!

> Read full submission

Tanya Klanert’s grant submission
Let’s Go Racing!
I love doing NASCAR math with my students. It is a project that they love and all learners get so excited about it. The students choose a driver before the season starts and we do some research about the driver and write them a letter. We set up a bulletin board with cars on a track to place them in their rank as the races take place. Each Monday after a race, we record the statistics of their drivers and graph their finishing position. We discuss range, mean, median, mode, and graphing vocabulary. Students write conclusions about the data they keep track of. I also integrate force and motion in science into this unit. Students use k’nex to build vehicles and we discuss how we can use energy to project these vehicles and how friction has an impact on the movement. We also discuss acceleration and momentum of these vehicles and air resistance to make it more aerodynamic. Let’s Go Racing is a great project for all. Students look forward to NASCAR math!

> Read full submission

Denyce Sanders’s submission:
The When Are We Gonna Need This Hunt?
Realizing that my class does not consists of all math lovers I introduce each unit with an on going unit project. During the course of the unit students are to search their everyday life to produce a model of how they are presently using or will be able to use one or more of the objectives in the unit in their lives. Students search the internet, their homes communities, etc. to build, model or display in any form how they can or will be able to use the unit.

> Read full submission

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