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Conceptual Understanding

Deep comprehension of mathematical ideas.

Mathematics in context

Conceptual understanding is knowing more than isolated facts and methods. The successful student understands mathematical ideas, and has the ability to transfer their knowledge into new situations and apply it to new contexts. This deep conceptual understanding is a key principle for school mathematics of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the Common Core State Standards for Math, and other state and Canadian standards, and what DreamBox Learning Math and Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ technology enable.

Students constructing their own knowledge

Research has repeatedly shown that learning doesn’t happen in a straight line or easy progression. It’s a complex, interconnected web that develops as students have experiences in which they reason inductively and deductively. DreamBox provides students with the opportunity to learn concepts and construct their own knowledge and understanding in a way that honors their unique prior knowledge and skills, and empowers them to become independent thinkers, strategists, and authentic “doers.” Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ analyzes data delivered in real time to provide an incredibly deep view of exactly how students are thinking about a concept during a lesson. That information is then used to instantly inform decisions within the lesson and between future lessons for the highest level of learning personalization.

Formative instruction is the pathway

By tracking, analyzing, and responding every time a student takes an action, Intelligent Adaptive Learning software is working at the point of instruction. In addition to formative assessment, DreamBox Learning Math provides formative instruction because every lesson utilizes virtual manipulatives that allow students to show their thinking—through rich, interactive, and open-ended problem solving  lessons—that allow the capture of every decision a student makes, as well as data regarding response time, strategy used, types of mistakes made, and more. The idea behind continuous assessment isn’t just to enable providing a slightly more difficult or easier problem in response to a single answer. It’s also to understand the strategy being used by the student when an answer was submitted and help develop conceptual understanding.