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Pedagogy in Practice, Supporting the Whole Student & Making it Fun at the Same Time

December 05, 2019


Children learn through different pathways: by working alone, talking through concepts, through play, and others like to build things. As educators, we need to allow those students to tap into their pathway and I think we can leverage adaptive learning technology as a pathway for students. So, DreamBox is one of the opportunities to find their pathway.

Lee Ann Henninger

Teacher, Castle View Elementary

Working toward encouraging students to be Global Citizens, Castle View Elementary School teachers promote six basic principles – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Lee Ann Henninger, a teacher at Castle View for the past 19 years,

finds that creating a fun and engaging environment for her first-grade students and utilizing DreamBox to enhance their learning are pivotal parts in this pedagogy.

As a longtime teacher with experience teaching almost every elementary grade level, Ms. Henninger has a passion for education and a dedication to her students. She aims to cultivate a fun learning environment within her classroom to keep her 19 first-grade students engaged throughout the day. Chants, songs, cute sayings, and idioms help the students remember what they learn. Rarely will you find Ms. Henninger sitting.

Focusing on even the smallest details to motivate her students, she keeps moving and avoids speaking in a monotone voice to captivate her students’ attention.

While she admits that technology isn’t her strong suit, she has found DreamBox to be easy and highly valuable. She strives to utilize fun and engaging material that can help her students succeed and has found just that in DreamBox. By incorporating DreamBox into her classroom, it has become a fundamental tool and a core supplement to her lessons.

Ms. Henninger communicates regularly with the students and parents about her expectations, always mindful that it’s a collaborative process that needs buy-in from everyone and approaches it with a “team” mentality. These clearly defined

expectations ensure everyone knows what’s going on, and she sees “rewards happen consistently” from this extra effort. Communicating with the parents is a vital part of how Ms. Henninger runs her classroom.

From classroom updates to student encouragement, she reaches out to parents, so that they feel included. By sending home informational

literature explaining how to access DreamBox for their children at home and encouraging them to review the Family Insight Dashboard to track their child’s progress, Ms. Henninger is making parents active participants in their child’s education. Parents can help their child to navigate the program without having to worry that they’re teaching them incorrectly.

Read the rest of the spotlight here.

Riverside Unified School District

  • District serves 49 schools
  • Castle View Elementary Enrollment 620
  • Grades K-6
  • Free/Reduced-Price Lunch (FRL) 48%
  • English Learners 20%

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