Keeps Kids Engaged
I think this a great tool to use, but it shouldn't be the only tool. Fact fluency is a big need in 3rd grade and Dreambox doesn't offer any practice - unless they're going through a specific lesson on one of the operations. I wish kids could get on to practice facts at any time. I also wish some of the lesson were easier for the kids to understand. It should give the kids the benefit of the doubt - like creating angles. It should give them credit when they're in the ballpark of the angle measurement. The time lessons are also ones that are difficult for kids. Kids will get very frustrated and never return to those lessons! The badges and other awards throughout the game help kids stay engaged and motivated to continue.
How I Use It
I use Dreambox as part of guided math a few times a week. We also have time in the computer lab and students will complete lessons then. I love being able to see the standards that students have mastered, are currently working in, or have struggled to meet. This is really effective when I can look at, not only 3rd grade standards, but anything K-2 also. I can back my students up to standards they have yet to master so they can focus on them before introducing them to grade level standards. I also like the feature of giving short term and long term lessons. If a student is struggling, I may give them a short term lesson to continue working on that skill. When I introduce a new concept in class, I assign long term assignments for the kids to practice that skill. It really is versatile! I can use it for enrichment as well as intervention. The best thing is, I can differentiate and kids can't tell the difference!