How I Use It
I use DreamBox to supplement my students' learning in math. I assign them a month long grade level standard strand assignment. If the student has already mastered this standard strand at grade level, I assign them the same standard strand at the next grade level. In addition to this, I assign a short term assignment at their instructional level. I teach fourth grade and many of my students are working on third grade standards. DreamBox provides them with tutorials and hints throughout the assignments so that they can be completed independently. DreamBox alerts me when a student is struggling with a standard so that I can address their needs during small group instruction.
As a teacher, I appreciate anything that helps me differentiate instruction easily. Within five minutes, my entire class can have assignments tailored to their needs each week. Majority of my students love DreamBox and often will choose to do it when they have extra time and during indoor recess. I find that my struggling students do not enjoy it as much and struggle to stay focused. I have found that K-2 is one section and 3-5 is another section, so for my special needs students I am only able to go down to 3rd grade level standards which can still be difficult for them.
I like that I am able to solve many of my own problems on DreamBox. I have used multiple levels of their supports from webinars to emailing to their Flex PD. DreamBox really seems to want teachers to be in control of their learning. I have never been formally trained on DreamBox nor have I ever attended a professional development about it. I find most of what I need on their website.
The one thing I think DreamBox does need to work on is their Flex PD. I have done a few courses of it and I did learn a lot, but the lessons run slow and can be difficult to navigate. I tried to complete the Flex PD on multiple computers and operating systems and still had the same results. Again, the information was great. I think the lessons could be more streamlined.
I really like how comprehensive DreamBox is and how easy it is to use. I am constantly learning new aspects of DreamBox through exploring and being vigilant in working through their resources. If you are a self starter and like to learn new things at your own pace then DreamBox will work well for you.