DreamBox Learning Math is great for individual practice, homework assignments, and remediation and intervention. In the classroom, students can access their individual accounts from a lab or class set of computers, freeing the teacher up to work with a small group while providing the rest of the class with meaningful individualized practice. Students could also use the program to practice at home. Using the dashboard, teachers can identify students who have completed an assignment, those who are still in progress, and those who have not started.
The individualized pace and adaptiveness of the program mean that students are working at their current skill level, even if that level is below or above a student's actual grade level. This could be particularly good for students who are below grade level or who are advanced and need a challenge or extension. Younger kids (K-2) will need some help navigating the confusing and cluttered interface to get to lessons, so it's best used with a parent, teacher, or mentor supervising.
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DreamBox Learning Math is an interactive, adaptive, self-paced program that provides engaging activities for students to learn and practice skills in mathematics. It's available for both web-based and iPad platforms, and student progress is tracked across both. Teachers and parents create accounts for individual students and then select the child's grade level (kindergarten through eighth grade). From there, DreamBox selects a series of lessons and activities for the child to complete.
As the tasks are completed (or if they become too difficult), the program adapts with new activities. There are three versions: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5), and Middle School (6-8). Each employs avatars that the players select for themselves and offers a game-like atmosphere to hold players' interest. DreamBox also provides the Insights Dashboard, which gives teachers, administrators, and parents access to reports on progress and mastery for each student (for skills and standards). Using real-time data, teachers can identify learning gaps to help them create differentiated long-term assignments for students. DreamBox creates a personalized learning pathway for students based on their demonstrated level of readiness. And students can keep track of the lesson they complete each week using the weekly lesson counter.
There's also an on-demand professional development resource section, a resource section with downloadable documents like certificates of achievement, and a community-based platform where teachers can share ideas and participate in challenges to earn points toward classroom resources.
Full Disclosure: DreamBox Learning and Common Sense Education share a funder; however, that relationship does not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.
This comprehensive mathematics program covers a wide range of subjects and skills at each grade level. One of the strengths of DreamBox is that players can progress through the skills and activities of different grade levels, regardless of their actual grade level. This means that students who need review or a challenge may work at the appropriate level for their own abilities.
There are many standout games and activities at each level, including the 10-frame lessons in the primary levels and the intermediate lessons on fractions in the real world. The various modeling tools (arrays, 10 frames, number lines) are excellent. The Insights Dashboard is also a useful tool to help teachers spot struggling learners. DreamBox Learning Math has good potential; it's engaging and appealing, it contains sound mathematical content and solid teaching strategies, and it might promote independent learning for some kids.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.1
Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:
Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
Number And Operations—Fractions
Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.
Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n × a)/(n × b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.
Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Understand a fraction a/b with a > 1 as a sum of fractions 1/b. a.
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number.
Express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100, and use this technique to add two fractions with respective denominators 10 and 100.4 For example, express 3/10 as 30/100, and add 3/10 + 4/100 = 34/100.
Compare two decimals to hundredths by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two decimals refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual model.
Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd.)
Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole, including cases of unlike denominators, e.g., by using visual fraction models or equations to represent the problem. Use benchmark fractions and number sense of fractions
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.
Apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions.1
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.2
Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1
Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.
Interpret whole-number quotients of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 56 ÷ 8 as the number of objects in each share when 56 objects are partitioned equally into 8 shares, or as a number of shares when 56 objects are partitioned into equal shares of 8 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a number of shares or a number of groups can be expressed as 56 ÷ 8.
Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent.