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DreamBox Motivates First Graders to Discover Pride in Math Growth and Comprehension

Beyond the educational benefits, DreamBox has provided my students with ownership and pride. My students love DreamBox and they love looking at their DreamBox data with me. The students love looking at their data and seeing if they are ‘in the green.’ They challenge themselves to beat their own averages from previous weeks as well as their peers’ averages.

—Teacher Rachel White, Vincent Farm Elementary School, Maryland

Vincent Farm Elementary School first grade teacher Rachel White is particularly passionate about bringing technology into her White Marsh, Maryland classroom. White, who is currently completing an Advanced Professional Development Certificate at Goucher College in Technology Curriculum and Leadership, has been using DreamBox Learning Math with her students since the beginning of the school year. She could not be more proud of the growth students are exhibiting across the board, and the pride they now associate with advancing in Math.

White’s students have already completed over 4,300 lessons and demonstrated 125 percent growth in DreamBox. Students use the program in every math class or during their math rotations for math workshop. DreamBox has been embedded into the school’s Math curriculum—Investigations—a hands-on learning curriculum that allows students to work in collaborative partnerships in order to gain math skills, where students rotate math exercises and DreamBox in their overall learning plan. To White’s delight, students have chosen to use DreamBox in their own free time both at school and at home.

The desire to use DreamBox in the classroom motivates White’s students. They are able to go on the program if they finish their morning work right away, leading them to get settled in the classroom and ready to learn first thing in the morning. Students even choose to play DreamBox during indoor recess on snowy or rainy days. White credits her students’ success to the Adaptive Learning technology within DreamBox, which combines a rigorous curriculum, an engaging, game-like learning environment, and real-time feedback for each student. This unique combination provides a deeply personalized math learning experience. Those needing intervention get the support they need, while advanced students find enriching content, thus exposing students at all levels to new learning beyond their curriculum. Within the program, students actively engage in learning as they apply critical thinking and problem solving skills, and build fluency through game-based virtual manipulatives.

Hope, one of White’s students, shared that she’s increased her confidence in math. Hope said: “Before DreamBox I felt scared in Math. DreamBox helps me feel good.” When asked what she likes most about the program, Hope shared that it’s beating levels and getting to new ones that excites her the most—so much so that she wants to create DreamBox levels herself! “When I grow up I want to be a DreamBox maker. I want to see all of the games and I want to make more hard games for kids who are doing well.”

One of the biggest benefits of integrating DreamBox White has observed is the motivation and dedication her students have developed at such a young age. The students love completing levels, earning tokens, and challenging themselves. According to White, her students love keeping track of their DreamBox usage using their data charts. Students use data charts to track their time spent on DreamBox in the classroom and to keep track of their Adventure Friends. Chris, another student in White’s class is very proud that he completed ALL of the Pirate levels. Chris’ favorite aspect of DreamBox is the Adventure Levels, which make him feel “outstanding” about his ability to explore Math.

White hosts a competition each week to see which student has completed the most minutes, demonstrated the most growth, and has the most lessons completed. When students see that others are spending more time on DreamBox, they are challenged and motivated to meet and exceed their usage.

“My students are very motivated and focused. I am so proud of them for pushing the limit and taking ownership of their learning,” said White. “I love that my students are going the extra mile and completing their assignments both in the classroom and at home.”