Dreambox Learning

Is your school looking into new programs for next year? Our school recently did a trial of a math program called Dreambox.

I'll admit I was skeptical at first. We already have a phonics/reading program on our computers that our K-2 kids HATE. It's loud, overstimulating, and frustrating to them. The kids say it's boring and that they are always starting over in the same place. 

Dreambox is totally different. They LOVE it! They BEG to be on Dreambox!

Dreambox adapts its math games to suit the needs of the child. Students may be working on completely different concepts from one another. You can see these are two students sitting next to each other in the lab and they are on completely different levels. 

Students receive hints if they need to. Ex: "Create this number with fewer moves."

Students begin a unit with a pretest and games then focus on areas of weakness. The students earn tokens and certificates as they move through games successfully. They can choose what their avatar looks like, choose a picture password, and choose what type of world they want to work in like pirate or storybook. 

The graphics are simple and cute. There aren't extra loud noises and we can easily understand instructions being told to us. Students get to begin where they left off and get to see their tokens and certificates at any time. 

My class can access Dreambox through the computers in school, their computer at home, and on the iPad. The app on the iPad is free. As a teacher I can see progress reports that show what skills students have mastered. *Progress reports can be seen using CCSS, The TEKS for all us Texas folks, Ontario Curriculum, Virginia Standards of Learning, and Western and Northern Canadian Protocol.* You can also see a simple view of how students are progressing through the Dreambox Units.

Most of my students spend time on Dreambox at home. This is not something I have asked them to do. They just enjoy it THAT much! 

It is a pricey program for your whole school but just in the past month I have seen HUGE progress in my students. This may be a program worth mentioning to your admins!

Spring Cleaning!

It's time for some Spring Cleaning! I truly hate it, but I'll be honest.... My house is a mess right now. My closet has so many clothes I haven't even thought about for years that I've got to tackle it this weekend. No fun, but it's all way out of control.

In celebration of me actually being able to walk from the front to the back of my closet without tripping over shoes I'm throwing a Spring Cleaning Sale! Woot woot!

Everything in my TPT store will be 20% off! So if you've been itching to shop for a new money unit, or some goofy grammar pages, check out my store and start shopping tomorrow! 

The sale runs through Monday so you've got lots of time to add to your wish list. Lots of other fabulous bloggers will have their stores on sale too. Check them out here! I play to reward myself with a healthy shopping spree on TPT Saturday morning! LOL!

Tuesday's Tip

I know I'm not the only one out there that is just a TEENY bit OCD when it comes to how their classroom looks. This goes for my centers/stations as well. Everything has a place and if it gets put away correctly then nothing ends up missing....like one of the cards out of a memory game.

When my students do memory games they used to do them on the carpet. It didn't work out well.  They struggle with how to line up all the cards on the carpet and that takes too much of their time in stations. So I started having students do memory games in the pocket chart. I would set it up all nice and neat, but by the end of our rotations the cards were no longer in nice need columns. They were a jumbled mess. Drove. Me. Crazy.

Simple solution: Washi Tape!
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At first it seems like the washi tape won't stay on but it does if you press it down hard. I've had washi tape on my pocket chart since January and it's still on there. In about a minute and a half you can have your washi tape lines up and your chart ready to go. 

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Now as students make a match they place their pairs toward the bottom. They remember where they pulled their card from and place it in the correct spot. Cards aren't all over the floor getting lost or shoved under a bookcase by mistake. AND when our rotations are finished my first graders have the cards all lined up and ready for the next group!

My friend Melissa is having a HUGE and FANTASTIC giveaway on her blog First Grade Smiles! Tons of amazing products to win from lots of bloggers! I have my March and April Poetry pack in the Giveaway #3 Bundle! Go check it out!

Thinglink- some new technology this Tuesday

It's a lovely morning here in West Seattle and I'm loving being on Spring Break. I would be lying if I didn't tell you I was already on countdown to summer. Sleeping in and having breakfast at home is so fabulous!

Today I wanted to share something that is brand new to me. It's called Thinglink. Thinglink allows you to add icons to pictures with information or links to other sites. 
 You can choose to simply have text associated with the image or it can link to another site or YouTube video. I think this would be a great tool for a research project. I know we just finished Read Across America but as an example I also put together a Dr. Seuss Thinglink. Just to be on the safe side I used links to Seussville since those Seuss folks are mighty particular.
Thinglink is free to join for educators and sharing your Thinglinks in really easy. You could add links to your webpage for your kiddos and with a little guidance they could begin creating their now Thinglinks.