How I Use It
I use DreamBox with my students to address both currently addressed standards from class lessons and gaps identified through MAP testing/RIT scores. It provides extra practice and incentives during rotations through learning centers and small group instruction. I like how I can assign specific standards that connect with our math workshop focus, while also addressing key needs to fill gaps in learning. The games can get a little repetitive, but the familiarity helps younger students focus on the concepts over the mechanics of the games/activities. For many of my students, access to the arcade and house, where they just play games and purchase items with their coins, detracts from doing the actual lessons. However, in the settings options, teachers can limit access to these features to only certain times or days.
Overall, I feel that DreamBox provides valuable practice on grade-level standards, but only if teachers take the time to actually assign specific standards/activities. Without doing this, the students' time is unstructured and unfocused, making any data of growth and achievement scattered. DreamBox is a tool, not a replacement, for the classroom teacher.