Skip to content

Middle School Students See Success with DreamBox Reading

holman middle school

Holman Middle School

Pattonville School District, St. Ann, Missouri

The overall vision for Holman Middle School is to provide a rigorous and relevant education for all students. The vision includes meeting individual needs in academic, social and emotional areas. The main goals and priorities for the school year, according to reading specialist Trina Cornell, are to help students reach grade-level reading targets, monitor their progress, and motivate them to become lifelong readers and writers.

DreamBox Reading's Impact

Holman Middle School has made excellent strides in meeting these goals. During the first year of DreamBox Reading implementation (2017-2018), students showed significant growth in their reading across the board. Tier 2 students averaged two level 1 of 2 gains with 40 hours of work in the program, and Tier 3 students averaged 2.5 level gains with 60 hours of instruction. Holman 7th and 8th graders made average reading proficiency gains above the national average, all completing 60 or more DreamBox Reading lessons. This success continued in the 2021-22 school year with students averaging 2.7 reading level gains.

Cornell explains that DreamBox Reading is implemented for students in general reading classes, grades 6-8. Students are assessed through InSight and Measures of Academic Progress® to determine fluency. Students who don’t show proficiency are enrolled in a reading class where DreamBox Reading is a major component. Upon completion, students test again to exit the class and choose a new elective. “Students who exit the reading program at grade level maintain those levels outside of our reading classes,” says Cornell.

While the results from using DreamBox are impressive, educators’ means of motivating students to reach and exceed goals has been nothing short of inspiring. Building community among the students and setting goals are major motivators.

We spend a great deal of time gathering information on our students through various surveys and modes to create the best learning environment for each of them. We also introduce soft skills—perseverance, determination, motivation—and connect [the skills] to our goals and expectations for the class.
quote filled
Trina Cornell
Reading Specialist, Holman Middle School

Lightbulb Moments

Students thrive on setting goals for themselves and achieving them. They choose what to focus on and what steps they’ll take weekly to meet their goals. At the end of the week, students revisit the goals they set on Friday and make adjustments.  They determine whether they reached their goals. 

Students also dive into ongoing teacher-led competitions and challenges with vigor. Competitions include:

  • Reading Olympics: Students complete five combos and 20 reading lessons at 80% or higher. 
  • Ready, Set, Go! A beginner competition where students learn the DreamBox Reading basics. 
  • Movin’ On Up: A two-week window to encourage students to level up in reading or vocabulary. 
  • Crushin’ It with Your Class: Students compete for highest average in reading and number of mastered vocabulary words. 

The results are amazing, according to Cornell. Students love winning prizes. The excitement and recognition keep them engaged and moving forward. DreamBox Reading has also changed the way educators decide to teach.

We used to focus on the end goal of grade-level reading achievement, now we focus on weekly goal setting and reflection, and this is important because it's where the magic happens. It's what students do on a daily basis that makes DreamBox Reading work for them. Giving students this ownership allows them the freedom to make decisions for themselves, and truly take control of their own reading progress.
quote filled
Trina Cornell
Reading Specialist, Holman Middle School

Personalized Teaching & Learning

Being able to personalize their learning is critical, and DreamBox Reading allows students to do that seamlessly.

The DreamBox Reading dashboards are favored by teachers and students alike. Teachers can collect information that helps them personalize lessons at each student’s right level. “On the Teacher Dashboard, we use the Assignments tab and the Student Overview tab daily,” explains Cornell. “The Student Overview tab has a great deal of information about each student, updating in real time. It gives us a beautiful snapshot of our students as readers—demonstrating where they have been, where they are and where they are headed.”

Students, on the other hand, love the Student Dashboard, which updates in real time as they complete lessons. They track their progress, set goals and make decision on what they want to learn. “It gives them the big picturecurrent reading rate, words read, closeness to leveling up, words mastered and types of stories that they enjoy reading,” says Cornell. “Choosing their backgrounds and avatars allows students to make this their own personal space and allows them to take ownership of their space in the program.”

By working with students at their skill levels, teachers have seen huge gains in their reading, confidence and motivation to reach their goals. At the same time, giving students a wide range of reading materials to choose from keeps them coming back for more.

Quick Facts

District Details

  • 11 schools serving 6,000+ students 
  • Holman Middle School serves 645 students
  • Partnered with DreamBox since 2017

Solutions

  • DreamBox Reading

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Science Techbook Impacts Student Engagement and Achievement

Sahuarita Unified School District logo

Sahuarita Unified School District

Sahuarita, Arizona

Discovery Education's Impact

In 2016, leaders at Sahuarita Unified Schools in Arizona knew they wanted to replace their outdated science textbooks. But the cost of new textbooks was high, and their budgets were facing some new challenges. They had to be innovative in funding sources, so they turned to Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, a local mining company’s  investment foundation that aims to make transformative changes for communities to improve their wellbeing.  

Sahuarita was awarded a grant from the foundation, which they used to implement Discovery Education Science Techbook for middle school as a supplemental resource, eventually expanding in the elementary grades.

With the amount of changes Arizona was undergoing with standards and funding, Techbook was selected because it was fluid and could adapt to the current science standards, as well as NGSS. It was cost efficient, flexible, and user friendly. It also proved to make a huge difference in access to engaging science curriculum.
quote filled
Brett Bonner
Assistant Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District

The initial implementation included district-provided professional learning, a research study, and professional learning from Discovery Education on ideal implementation and usage of Science Techbook in the classroom. The district then transitioned into using Science Techbook as the core curriculum for grades K-8, increasing their in-house professional development along with that offered by Discovery Education.   

Sahuarita has seen promising growth in terms of student achievement since the implementation of Science Techbook, as it creates high engagement levels across grades especially when used with hands-on labs and science projects. The teaching staff is also invested in its use. They appreciate and value having high-quality, updated resources and digital access to support their instruction.

When you combine an up-to-date curriculum, easy-to-use learning platform, content aligned to state standards, and robust professional learning, you have the perfect mix for a successful implementation.
quote filled
Brett Bonner
Assistant Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District

Science Techbook Implementation Study

For the 2022-2023 school year, Sahuarita Unified School District conducted an implementation study of Science Techbook to determine its impact on middle school students. Nine teachers from three middle schools participated.   

Pre- and post-assessments were given to 363 students in grade 6 and 378 students in grade 7 to serve as the control and response variables. The results showed a statistically significant positive correlation between the post-assessment scores and each variable of Techbook usage measured throughout the year. These results meet ESSA’s rigorous evidence-based Tier 3: Promising Evidence.  

Additionally, a survey was conducted among the educators involved in the use of Science Techbook, which revealed a high satisfaction with the quality of Techbook and support from Discovery Education.  In fact, “teachers who were more experienced with Techbook, invested time in learning it, valued the resources within it, and used it more . . . had students who generally performed better on the post-assessment.” 

The study also revealed the need for the district to invest more in technology to help increase access to students. Using ESSER funds, they are now at almost a 1:1 ratio with student Chromebooks.

Lightbulb Moments

Sahuarita believes that having an online resource like Science Techbook is a viable, affordable, and user-friendly solution that benefits both teachers and students. Even during the pandemic, it helped greatly reduce disruptions in learning because students could access it outside of the classroom. Additionally, it helps the district face the challenges of a teacher shortage by providing easy-to-use resources that are accessible to any level of teacher.

All the resources have strengthened academic skills the students need to succeed, but they also require active participation. I’ve found that the students are really engaged from start to finish—they’re reading, they're watching videos, and they're interested in the curriculum. The lessons are really fast paced and the students actually enjoy them, so the hour goes by quickly!
quote filled
Stacie Trebes
Middle School Science Teacher, Sahuarita USD

Even language acquisition students feel supported. There are plenty of Spanish resources available in Science Techbook that help ensure that language is never a barrier to learning. Additionally, Discovery Education offers resources translated into multiple languages to involve families whose primary language is not English

Connecting to the Community

Sahuarita believes in working closely with the community, because investing in education affects everyone involved. It regularly shares updates on its public website so that families can stay informed on all things Science Techbook and understand how it supports science learning for their children, as well as how it can be accessed at home. It also meets regularly with a diverse group of community stakeholders to ensure all voices are heard and to help identify areas of investment that align to community needs.  

In collaboration with Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Sahuarita Unified Schools is a model example of how the impact of education goes well beyond the classroom and can help bring an entire community together. They recognize that the success of their students means the success of their community.

We want ALL our students to succeed, as well as our community, and Discovery Education helps us accomplish that.
quote filled
Brett Bonner
Assistant Superintendent, Sahuarita Unified Schools

Quick Facts

School Details

  • 10 schools serving 5,800 students
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2016

Solutions

  • Access to Education
  • Professional Learning
  • Standards Alignment
  • Bilingual Learners

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental
  • Core Curriculum

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Compton Unified Ensures ROI for DreamBox Math

ComptonUnifiedSchoolDistrictLogo

Compton Unified School District

Los Angeles, CA

Located in the south-central region of Los Angeles, Compton Unified School District (CUSD) is one of 80 school districts in Los Angeles. When Superintendent Dr. Darrin Brawley arrived at CUSD over 10 years ago, the district had low on-time graduation rates, low achievement scores, and students who needed extra support and services. Brawley believed that CUSD teachers and students deserved the support necessary to thrive. He developed an approach that would eliminate the opportunity gap for students in technology by partnering with organizations such as Digital Promise, Apple, Verizon, Boeing, Microsoft, and Google.

After over a decade of careful planning, targeted support, and thoughtful strategy and execution across every stakeholder level, the district has experienced a dramatic upward shift. It’s marked by increases in student achievement rates, a graduation rate nearing 90%, dramatic facilities improvements, and a focus on STEAM throughout all schools.

DreamBox Math's Impact

 

One of the technology programs Dr. Brawley’s team has implemented is DreamBox Math. The program has been instrumental in increasing student math scores and proved especially critical during school closures. With DreamBox Math, students have just-in-time, personalized math instruction regardless of teacher availability, skill, or learning environment. 

DreamBox Math is one of our partners for preventing learning loss . . . the program has the ability to adapt to where the child is. To meet them where they’re at, to provide them with the foundational skills necessary to get started . . . and build from there. We saw an intense increase in math achievement by students that participated in the program, and we saw those students increase several grade levels over the course of the school year.
quote filled
Dr. Darrin Brawley
Superintendent, CUSD

Dr. Brawley attributes the district’s return on learning with DreamBox Math to three specific focus areas: Communication, ongoing data reviews, and engagement.

Focus Area 1: Communication

Clear and aligned communication about a program’s purpose, value, and expectations.

Ineffective tools, unused solutions, and program churn can be a distraction, a waste of funds, and have a negative impact on student learning. In fact, a recent study suggests that as much as 67% of educational software product licenses go unused. Educators cite poor communication about available technologies as a key reason.

Fortunately, the leadership team at CUSD has adopted a strategic approach to ensure teachers are not only aware of available programs, but also understand the program’s purpose. Dr. Brawley explained that providing clarity of the rationale, benefits and expectations for programs like DreamBox Math improves the program’s success within the organization. “We must focus on the purpose. If you can’t get to the why of a decision, it becomes difficult for people to see the usefulness of a program.” Dr. Brawley continued, “Imagine being a teacher, and being concerned about implementing three different tools for support. As leaders, we must communicate the purpose of each tool and make sure teachers know that the use of each tool is intentional.”

For Dr. Brawley, communicating the purpose and intention of DreamBox Math began by helping teachers understand what made the program unique and effective. “We saw DreamBox Math was different because it meets students where they are, provides support and adapts to their needs as they master different math concepts. With the pandemic,DreamBox Math was the perfect tool to address learning gaps in mathematics. We doubled down on our message about the importance of how DreamBox Math provides students with lessons at their current level of mastery and adapts to fill in those missing links.” This continuous messaging to stakeholders at every level has been helpful to drive program adoption and ensure effective tool usage. By 2020, teachers clearly understood the benefit of the program and saw positive student results correlated with DreamBox Math lesson completion.

Another important component of the CUSD communication strategy was to reassure educators that DreamBox Math would not be a heavy lift or a burden on the day-to-day classroom demands. Rather, it would add to the learning experience.

The tools you provide to teachers shouldn't be just one more thing. Tools should create an advantage for educators to gain better insight, focus on student needs and increase instructional time.
quote filled
Shawnte Clewis
K-8 Math Administrator, CUSD

District leaders understand that teachers balance many competing priorities. They’re responsible for student instruction, implementing programs, student behavior, classroom management, and so much more. The district strives to provide programs proven to have a positive impact on learning outcomes and make teachers’ jobs easier. To ensure a successful adoption, it was critical to communicate that DreamBox Math is not one more thing, but the right thing to help students and teachers. It has been crucial to the program’s success.

Focus Area 2: Ongoing Data Review

Leverage data from multiple sources, analyze and share data, use data to inform decisions, and repeat.

As a data-driven organization, CUSD leaders must consistently assess where students are, what tools and approaches have a positive impact on student achievement, and what practices to replicate across the district. Dr. Brawley says, “We have an intense focus on continuous improvement and the cycle of inquiry. We are constantly looking at where we are and what it is that we need to do. We also benchmark ourselves against surrounding school districts to see how close we are in performance, who is leading the way and how much will it take for us to surpass them?”

To track growth and measure program efficacy at the sites, the district hosts bimonthly data chats. Site and district leaders leverage and analyze data from a plethora of sources, including state dashboards, internal benchmarks, diagnostic assessments, common assessments, and insights and reporting from DreamBox Math. The bimonthly chats have been valuable for educators to triangulate data from DreamBox Math with math scores in order to measure growth for students using the program for the recommended amount of time. DreamBox reports update immediately whenever students start lessons, thereby enabling up-to date, continual reporting throughout the year with insights about concepts students learn, progress they make, and productive struggles they might encounter. 

Through our ongoing data chats with stakeholders, we have cemented the usefulness of DreamBox Math as an important instructional tool to support both teachers and students in meeting grade-level standards in math.
quote filled
Dr. Darrin Brawley
Superintendent, CUSD

CUSD educators have also found data exploration valuable to drill into math achievement subgroups and explore which DreamBox Math strategies are most effective for serving students in Tiers II and III and how to provide continuous growth for students in Tier I.

As one example, during the 2021-22 school year, 8th grade Compton students completing the recommended five lessons per week (approximately one hour per week) demonstrated an average growth of 1.1 grade levels within DreamBox Math. This accelerated growth is in addition to any growth students demonstrated in their regular math classroom. For 8th graders who started the year below grade level, time spent in DreamBox Math often addressed unfinished learning from prior grades. 

The student progress overview report below is one example of how DreamBox Math provided differentiation so this student could understand integer addition and subtraction topics from 7th grade, fractions and decimals concepts from 6th grade, and key skills from 5th, 6th, and 7th grades related to expressions and equations. These are essential algebra readiness concepts that 8th grade teachers typically don’t have enough time, resources, or data to support every student. Fortunately, this student was still receiving grade-level instruction during math class, because DreamBox Math only requires one hour per week. Learning 8th-grade standards in math class was in addition to the 1.2 grade levels they grew within DreamBox Math. 

Last, the chats have also been useful for analyzing their DreamBox Math usage data and program growth against other schools. Together, they explored different approaches for improving teacher participation, new ways to celebrate student success, and areas to replicate in their schools.

Focus Area 3: Engagement

Motivate students and empower them to get excited about learning and take pride in their achievements.

To meet the desired learning goals, DreamBox Math recommends that students complete five math lessons every week (about one hour per week). CUSD aimed to meet these goals, but during bimonthly data reviews, educators noticed that there were pockets of high usage across certain schools and grades. There was room for improvement for the entire district, so the leadership team began to develop DreamBox Math challenges among schools, grades, classrooms, and students. They encouraged site administrators to engage teachers and students to log in to DreamBox Math and complete at least five lessons per week.

CUSD began to see patterns of top-performing schools and classrooms. The district office highlighted and recognized winners at the school, grade, class, and student level every week. Within months of issuing their first challenge, DreamBox Math usage had exploded for both students and teachers. The district created new challenges, including completing 10 lessons per week, completing lessons during school breaks, and completing 150,000 lessons in January 2022. Data showed that the cohort of students completing five or more lessons tripled from the previous year. 

The enthusiasm for DreamBox Math has resulted in far more than lesson completion. District data indicates that student progress in the number of math standards in which they are proficient. When staff walks through classrooms, they can hear students having academic conversations with teachers and peers about what they’ve learned in DreamBox Math.

Shawnte Clewis credits much of the success of DreamBox Math to the district’s efforts to celebrate students’ accomplishments. By celebrating student usage, fostering healthy competition, and motivating students to push themselves, in 2021-22, CUSD students in grades K – 8 completed nearly 1.5 million lessons. Those who completed five or more lessons per week gained an average of 20.74 California Common Core Content Standards.

Having students know that their work in DreamBox Math is being noticed and acknowledged brings self-confidence for our students, which helps them grow in all areas of learning.
quote filled
Shawnte Clewis
K-8 Math Administrator, CUSD

Measuring Program ROI

In addition to the marked progress students demonstrated while using DreamBox Math, the program also saved CUSD teachers countless hours by automatically differentiating instruction to meet students where they are. The return on investment for DreamBox Math can also be measured by determining the cost of intervention efforts had the program not been adopted, rather than intervention led by a CUSD teacher. An analysis of the district’s spending and performance data concluded that Compton Unified School District demonstrated three times the return on their DreamBox Math investment. Looking ahead, the district intends to continue employing DreamBox Math for all students and continue its engagement efforts. 

Quick Facts

School Details

  • 36 school serving 18,000 students
  • 99% minority population
  • 90% on-time graduation rate 
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2021

Solutions

  • DreamBox Math

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Texas School Sees Better Math Scores with DreamBox

Wylie ISD Logo

Wylie Independent School District

Wylie, TX

Wylie Independent School District began using DreamBox Math in one of its junior high schools, Raymond Cooper Junior High, beginning in 2019 through DreamBox’s Pilot Program. After seeing initial success, the district expanded its use of DreamBox Math to three junior high schools with about 900 students at each campus. That deployment benefited considerably from the work of Tracene Nechamkin, Wylie ISD math learning specialist.

As with a number of DreamBox customers, Wylie was using another digital math program when they began exploring DreamBox Math. Although it performed adequately for younger students, when students reached junior high, problems arose. “By that time students just didn’t care for it, and we got a lot of push back,” says Nechamkin. “We wanted a program that would help all students grow, and that also aligned with MAP® (Measure of Academic Progress) testing.”

It’s nice to have a supplemental math program that we can rely on to help support our teachers and students, especially with Response to Intervention (RTI). I think we’re going to be dealing with the repercussion from remote/hybrid learning for years to come, with many students experiencing learning loss.
quote filled
Tracene Nechamkin
Math Learning Specialist

DreamBox Math Enables Flexible Learning Environments

DreamBox Math also supports Nechamkin’s approach to teaching math. Students should do some discovery, rather than just completing a set series of problems. The value of discovery is that students can construct their own understanding and knowledge through their experiences and reflections. This approach leads to greater student engagement. During hybrid/remote learning, the district experienced a shortage of substitute teachers, and DreamBox Math helped fill in the gaps when students finish their classwork. Not long ago Nechamkin was in a history class. The students finished their assignments early, so she asked them if they would rather read or use DreamBox Math. They chose the latter. “It’s great that they can log in to DreamBox Math and start learning right away.” she says.

The three junior high schools using DreamBox Math have each adopted their own model. Teachers typically give students time on the math program during enrichment sessions, or when there is extra time in a class, in addition to using it as an intervention tool. DreamBox Math enhances classroom instruction and is an ideal tool for all learners because it meets them where they are and helps them advance in the way they learn best.

Kris Chesnut, a math teacher in Wylie’s Cooper Junior High, uses DreamBox Math as a homework tool for both remote and in-class students, with a goal of five lessons per week per student. It’s also useful as an intervention tool for students who need additional support.

“After sharing the simple approach to DreamBox Math lessons, my students were pleased with the length of the assignments and enjoyed the hands-on manipulatives.” he says.

“And I can definitely see better results in class from my students who are avid DreamBox users. One of my favorite things to hear when introducing a new topic is the kids saying, ‘Oh we already did this in DreamBox.’ It’s nice that some topics are already introduced to them, and I can spend more time either reinforcing or extending the lesson.”

Using DreamBox Math in the classroom is very simple. We have no issues logging in with the use of Clever. Students enjoy it and many enjoy taking a break from typical classroom lessons to work in DreamBox Math.
quote filled
Kris Chesnut
Math Teacher

Compared with other online learning methods, DreamBox Math supported teachers by bringing students up to speed quickly and could adapt to individual student needs. Students can monitor their own progress and success through the Student Weekly Goals feature and also use the DreamBox Math student dashboard to ensure they’re completing the recommended five lessons per week. Now moving into its third year of use in Wylie’s three junior high schools, DreamBox Math has won over students and teachers.

In the future, Nechamkin sees digital learning tools like DreamBox Math as a cornerstone of education. The benefits are clear, with increased student engagement by supporting different learning styles and helping to prepare students for the future. “I think we’ve turned a corner, and there’s no going back,” she says. “Teachers are more comfortable using technology in the classroom, and students enjoy using digital learning tools for learning. It’s going to be a huge part of education going forward.”

Quick Facts

District Details

  • 20 school serving 17,500 students
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2019

Solutions

  • DreamBox Math

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Regular Use of DreamBox Math Significantly Improved MAP Scores

Salem WI ISD Logo

Salem School District

Salem, WI

Building Strong Student Usage

At the Salem 4K–8 school, students know Craig Velleux as Mr. DreamBox. His official title was math interventionist/math coach/algebra teacher, and he is now the data specialist. In 2021, a new administrator brought DreamBox Math into the curriculum, so Velleux learned how to make the program work for his district. One of his main responsibilities in the 2022 23 school year was to get DreamBox Math up and running and engage students and teachers.

“Our 4K, kindergarten, and 1st-graders all have iPads and from 2nd grade up, we have Chrome books for all the kids,” says Velleux, explaining that the school population is socioeconomically diverse. “So, we make sure they have the devices and anybody at home that doesn’t have a device, we loan them one.” With these devices, students can work on DreamBox Math lessons anywhere and anytime. All students, K-8 must complete five lessons a week. Those who complete more have seen more improvement.

As a data specialist, Velleux built assessments into a data analytics platform called Otus to track students’ skill level. The platform offers a question-by-question and standard-by-standard breakdown for every student in a class. The analytics show where students are missing standards mastery or where students scored low. Then, the teachers go into DreamBox Math and assign lessons based on each student’s specific needs.

The teachers actually really like DreamBox Math because they don’t necessarily have to reteach and lose class time. They can use DreamBox Math to supplement the skills that [students] need.
quote filled
Craig Velleux
Interventionist, Coach, & Teacher for Math

For example, DreamBox Math supports students’ math fact fluency. Teacher buy-in made getting DreamBox Math into the classroom easy. Some students need more intensive intervention in small-group or one-on one settings, so they don’t fulfill the recommended number of weekly lessons. Regardless, the kids love the program. But for different reasons than the teachers. Number one: DreamBox is fun with its gaming style lessons that pique youngsters minds. Number two: Competition and recognition help engage students.

The school ignited students’ interest with a friendly math challenge in May 2022. The names of students who did 10 lessons a week were put on a banner in the halls. In addition to recognition, students got prizes, certificates, DreamBox Math stickers, pens and pencils, water bottles, and T-shirts. If an entire class met the challenge of 10 lessons, Velleux put up a big ribbon on the wall and went into their room and made a big deal out of it, handing out small backpacks and math key tags. Engagement was “crazy good,” according to Velleux.

Exciting MAP and State Assessment Results

“During the 2022-2023 school year, MAP testing scores were some of the highest the school had seen. Similarly, students who used DreamBox Math regularly saw improved state testing (Wisconsin Forward) scores, especially their third-grade students. Velleux is certain they’ll continue to host big, building-wide DreamBox Math challenges each Spring before state testing. Because DreamBox Math has caught on with teachers and students, usage is up quite a bit after the first year. With teacher buy-in and student engagement being so high, Velleux has great expectations for expanding student usage.

MAP testing scores were some of the best we've had overall . . . Our third grade outperformed pretty much the rest of our building as far as number of proficient [and] advanced students. And they had the highest [DreamBox] usage, and the most kids that met the challenge. I'm excited to see how DreamBox Math growth is going to look at the year goes on!
quote filled
Craig Velleux
Interventionist, Coach, & Teacher for Math

Quick Facts

School Details

  • 1 school serving 1,000 students in grades 4K-8
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2021

Solutions

  • DreamBox Math

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Creating a Community of Science Enthusiasts

Westside Community Schools Logo

Westside Community Schools
Omaha, Nebraska

Meet Judith Stucky, the "Original" Pivot Interactives Teacher

Judith (Judy) Stucky never thought she would go into education. But when she discovered a love of teaching science, not only was she pleasantly surprised, but she was hooked!

In college, I kept changing my major repeatedly, from computer science to electrical engineering, to physics. But I had a wonderful physics professor who asked me to be a TA for one of his physics labs. It was the best class I had and was truly the highlight of my time as a student. Every week I helped other people learn physics … I got to show them how much fun physics was!

Fast forward 33 years later, and Judy still loves every minute of teaching. Today, she is a physics instructor at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska, where she has been teaching for the last two decades. It was here that she first discovered Pivot Interactives, becoming the first teacher to use the program. She still uses it today and continues to find creative ways to bring science to life for her students and share Pivot with her colleagues. We spoke with Judy to learn more about how she first came to use Pivot Interactives and how the partnership has grown over the years to support teachers and students at the high school in many ways.

Pivot Interactives' Impact on Westside High School

Westside High School is unusual in that physics is one of the graduation requirements. Because of this, the school offers a variety of physics classes to reach a broad spectrum of students, including AP Physics 1 and 2, and AP Physics C (Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism). Like her experience as a TA, Judy saw an opportunity to engage all students with the subject. She leaned on Pivot Interactives to help her.

Just like when I was a TA in college, I’m engaging with high school students several times a day, and many times with those who don’t necessarily like math or physics but are required to take the class. I try to show them how much fun I think it is, but also get them interested along the way. I was also part of a STEM team for a variety of courses, including engineering and mechanics, for students who are really interested in these subject areas.

Adopting Pivot allowed Judy to move away from the textbook labs and toward a higher variety of labs. It also gives science instructors more tools and experiences to demonstrate the different topics and ideas they want to share with students.

At first, teaching physics was just textbooks and whatever labs I made up. But when I had to teach AP Physics B for the first time, I needed more advanced labs that included Vernier Graphical Analysis. With Pivot, the labs were already there! Labs that I never thought of, that include engaging videos. The students loved it and found it fascinating to record things and calculate energy and motion. With the frame-by-frame analysis, they can break down any type of motion, and those students want detail and precision in their measurements. They also know Pivot will help make the graph for them. My AP Physics C students still ask if they can use Pivot—it’s their go-to!

Lesson Planning & Skill Building

What Judy finds helpful is both the Pivot team in their attentiveness, and the effective, multi-purpose use of Pivot itself—keeping students on track when anyone is absent (including her), remediating general physics skills, and allowing students to steer the activity to learn new skills. It even offers hands-on labs in a digital setting that provide a similar experience students would see in the classroom.

Pivot allows for a higher variety of labs and, in some ways, helps speed up part of the lesson. If we’re done teaching graphing skills, for example, why not have the program graph some of the labs we do so we can focus more on physics and skip plotting points? It gives us a wider variety of tools and experiences that we can use to demonstrate the many topics and ideas we want to share with our students.

We also use Pivot often for summative labs. While students can consult each other for help, they all must do their own work! One lab in Pivot has 40 different videos, so the odds of having two students with the same video were very slim. This sets them up to help each other, but not copy off each other.

When the science team went to the NSTA conference, we used Pivot to help us plan lessons. On day one the students received the data, on day two they got the graph, and on day three they completed an extension activity and finished up the lab. Pivot is so helpful for us with such short class periods—we save time, and the students can’t lose their work!

Students' Perspective

My AP students want to videotape every lab that they do and put it in Pivot! For my reluctant students, they like that Pivot helps them create the graph and offers the flexibility of completing work at home. They also love that some questions tell them if they’re right or wrong and that even the open-ended questions give them a chance to review the data as they answer.

Lightbulb Moments

Judy and her colleagues at Westside High School believe Pivot helps students build skills they use in higher-level classes, and in many cases inspires them to rethink their interest in STEM.

I once had a student in general physics who didn’t like math and science much, until physics. He was always very good at doing the labs in Pivot and asking questions. The next year, this “reluctant” science student signed up for AP physics and did very well! What we did in general physics made him see a different side to math and science that he really enjoyed.

Judy and her colleagues at Westside High School believe Pivot helps students build skills they use in higher-level classes, and in many cases inspires them to rethink their interest in STEM.

We are finally getting non-physics teachers on board with Pivot! Chemistry teachers and the biology team both have started using it. In fact, the chemistry teacher came to me right after trying it and said, “We just used Pivot for the first time, and it is awesome!” With the biology team, there was some hesitancy, but we have one teacher who teaches physics and biology. After using Pivot 2-3 times in the first month, teachers and students are really enjoying it! All in all, Pivot simplifies your life as a teacher and student learning without adding to your workload.

Advice from a Veteran Teacher

It’s teachers like Judy Stucky that show how choosing the right EdTech tools, and using them effectively, supports students in so many ways, and allows teachers to be the teacher they set out to be. We asked her what kind of advice she would bestow upon other teachers first starting out and gave us some insight that we couldn’t have said better.

From 5 AM to 10 PM, you make a million decisions as a science teacher—spur of the moment changes you must adapt to. It can be frustrating, but you make a difference. You see those differences years down the road. I’m still in contact with students from 30 years ago! Just remember, you can’t be that person for every student, but you can certainly be that person, that impactful teacher, for someone. They need you and you need them, making it very rewarding.

Quick Facts

Partnership Details

  • 14 schools serving 6,200 students
  • Partners with Pivot Interactives since 2012

Solutions

  • Pivot Interactives

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental 
  • Hands-on Learning
  • Cross-Curricular Support
  • Teacher Support

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Elevating Student Voices While Meeting Academic Standards

az dow logo

Arizona Department of Education

Discovery Education's Impact

In 2021, Discovery Education and the Arizona Department of Education embarked on a 3-year partnership to tackle the need for high-quality, diverse resources that help students achieve cross-curricular skills outlined in the state’s academic standards. Additionally, the Department of Education wanted to highlight Native American culture and heritage to help students see themselves and their world in the materials, ultimately deepening engagement and providing new ways to develop critical skills that are a growing component of statewide assessments.

The state used ESSER funds to bring equitable access to Discovery Education Experience and its transformative digital resources, as well as provide ongoing professional learning to as many educators as possible throughout the partnership. Discovery Education was chosen for several reasons, starting with our longstanding record of delivering high-quality resources, engaging content, and simplified integration and usability. The alignment of Discovery’s resources to the state’s standards, specifically in social studies, was a plus, too.

We really wanted to make it easy for teachers to work smarter, not harder, and engage students with primary sources and materials to make social studies relevant.
quote filled
Linda Burrows
Deputy Associate Superintendent of Academic Standards, AZ State Dept. of Ed.

Additionally, many of the state assessments include primary sources and stimulus-based questions that require students to demonstrate understanding and apply knowledge in context. State officials recognized that the strategies, questions, and content in Experience are very similar in nature, so these resources can be used to expose students to rigorous, stimulus-based questions they will encounter on later summative assessments.

Elevating Student Voices Through Curated Content

To deliver on the need for instruction around Native American history and culture, Discovery Education worked closely with the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona educators, and the Office of Indian Education to create the Native Stories of the Southwest Channel—a curation of Southwest Indigenous stories that are authentic, culturally relevant, and allows students to see themselves in their learning. It was a priority for all parties involved to ensure the Native stories across the Southwest were brought into all classrooms across the state, as they sought the help and guidance from a diverse group of educators, especially those who are members of Nations being represented.

Finding educational materials that accurately reflect important historical events and portray Indigenous people authentically can be challenging. There are over 574 federally recognized tribes and 63 state-recognized tribes, each with their own diverse languages, customs, history, and traditions. Because of this rich diversity, educational materials need to evolve to reflect the multifaceted Native identity.

The teams carefully searched for resources, reviewed them, and determined the best grade level for them. There were deep conversations about what type of content could be open to all students and what was developmentally appropriate for different age groups. The goal was to ensure the educational materials were authentic, accurate, and most importantly, vetted by the Indigenous communities and wisdom keepers. The channel was designed to include grab-and-go lessons, interactives activities, videos, and more that can enrich K-12 classrooms across the state.

Indigenous students need to see accurate portrayals of their history that balance and honor the tragedy and loss of what’s happened in these communities with the joy and innovation that have come from them. It’s also vital for non-Native students to reflect on Indigenous people’s contributions and perspectives . . . It was important to us [working on the creation of this channel] that all teachers and all students could learn, engage, and find meaning in this powerful learning experience, and I believe the channel has accomplished this!

These resources are also standards-aligned so AZ teachers can meet standards throughout multiple grades, including those that cover state history, early American history and Indigenous voices, tribal governance, and U.S. history. Because the social studies standards were purposely written to complement the ELA standards, the resources in this channel, as well as other resources and strategies in Experience, help students practice their reading and literacy skills.

We created a crosswalk to see how the standards in social studies and ELA match. Then, very purposefully made the connection for teachers so they can seamlessly bring in disciplinary literacy. Social studies and ELA are like peanut butter and jelly! They fit well together, and the standards help these subjects work together at both the elementary and secondary levels.
quote filled
Linda Burrows
Deputy Associate Superintendent of Academic Standards, AZ State Dept. of Ed.

Since the launch of the channel in 2022, students are truly engaging with the material to get a better sense of the world in which they live. It has also helped educators to create a community where students from diverse backgrounds can learn about, and from, each other in a collaborative manner.

Professional Learning

Thanks to the collaboration between Discovery Education, the AZ Office of Indian Education, and the AZ Office of Academic Standards, teachers were provided with free professional learning sessions throughout year that targeted relevant topics to Arizona educators—notably how to incorporate and elevate indigenous voices in the classroom. While it is mandatory to teach about the history of the Indigenous peoples of Arizona, the state was also aiming to incorporate marginalized voices into standards-based work.

It was very important for us to offer resources to our teachers to cover these topics because many non-Indigenous teachers didn’t know how to find the right resources and were worried about making sure they were culturally appropriate. It was a great collaboration between my team, our Office of Indian Education, and Discovery Education to ensure our teachers knew how to find and use these resources to the benefit of their students.
quote filled
Linda Burrows
Deputy Associate Superintendent of Academic Standards, AZ State Dept. of Ed.

Professional Learning was also offered at the secondary level to help with cross-curricular support and to connect standards. For example, bridging the gap between courses like World Literature and World History would help those teachers introduce the same terminology and concepts so they can reinforce skills and help students build background knowledge.

Lightbulb Moment

The teaching strategies that Discovery Education provides created a lightbulb moment for teachers. They realized that not only is the content in Experience, notably the Native Stories of the Southwest Channel, high-quality and authentic, it also supports cross-curricular skills and standards. The strategies show teachers how they can use the content, meet multiple academic standards across subjects, and give students an authentic, engaging learning experience in one lesson.

Looking Ahead

Arizona’s focus is continuing to help teachers understand the ability of Discovery Education to support their efforts in delivering high-quality resources and meeting academic standards and making the connection between the two. Additionally, Arizona will continue to be a leader in elevating student voices, especially in Native American communities, and empowering their educators to do the same.

Quick Facts

Partnership Details

  • All public and private schools in the state
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2021

Solutions

  • Discovery Education Experience
  • Professional Learning

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental
  • Cross-curricular Support
  • Alignment to Standards
  • Diverse representation

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Streamlining STEM Education to Better Support Teachers

washoe nv logo lock up

Washoe County School District

Washoe, Nevada

Discovery Education's Impact

After the COVID-19 pandemic, Washoe County School District in Nevada biggest challenges were student engagement, learning loss, and how to manage the adaptation of varying STEM instruction from campus to campus. Middle school subjects were taught in silos yet had a STEM lab, high school STEM focused on Career & Technical Education, and elementary schools took a cross-curricular approach to STEM that was supported by a computer lab. 

To combat the challenges from the pandemic and support the different types of STEM instruction, the Nevada State Department of Education—with funding support from Nevada Gold Mines—selected Discovery Education Experience as a statewide option for its ease of use, ability to reach learners wherever they are, and high-quality, standards-aligned content. It proved to be the right choice because teachers like those in Washoe School District could rely on Experience to supplement instruction no matter how they taught STEM, while ensuring student engagement at multiple levels.

I initially was worried about implementing a new program, but when Discovery Education’s team came on board, the partnership just clicked! They provided the perfect resources to share with teachers so that I wouldn’t have to recreate the wheel; the way it’s set up makes it so easy to use. It continues to be such a strong partnership because of DE’s ability to understand what works best for our educators and students.
quote filled
Kindra Fox
Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction, Washoe County School District

Experience also made an impact on the level of rigor in lessons to meet the district’s goals for student success. Finding the wealth of standards-aligned activities in Experienceencouraged many teachers to reflect on the standards they were teaching and see how they can enhance the rigor of their lessons using the helpful resources in Discovery Education and in their core program.

In Discovery Education Experience, there are great videos, but the best part is that there are also questions, graphic organizers, or activities embedded into the videos that will hold students accountable for the learning. These strategies and activities are what take the content to the next level for my students.
quote filled
Aaron Grossman
5th Grade Teacher, NV

Lightbulb Moments

Discovery Education gives teachers control over how to navigate and use the resources to fit their classroom teaching and learning needs. Teachers found they can execute individual assignments easily, like videos, or conduct whole-class instruction. They can deliver the lessons in multiple ways to fit the needs of their classrooms and students. For example, Discovery Education can support learning both at school and at home, giving them continual access to engaging learning resources like Virtual Field Trips.

From small group instruction to activity centers to independent study, it’s really appealing for a teacher because It's not the same “watch a video, do some questions” approach—it takes the monotony away and lends itself much more to engagement with students. And when students are willing to learn at a deeper level, Discovery Education really shines.
quote filled
Kindra Fox
Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction

Looking Ahead

Between the curriculum leaders in Washoe County School District and the Discovery Education team, much is being done to find new ways to bring Discovery Education to more teachers, especially at the high school level. This close partnership focuses on identifying the needs of the high schools and targeting those needs through Discovery Education’s resources and professional learning. The district is also taking strategic steps in improving communication and outreach to their 100+ schools regarding the multitude of ways that Discovery Education can support effective teaching and learning.  

Quick Facts

School Details

  • Statewide partner with Discovery Education since 2020

Solutions

  • Discovery Education Experience
  • Professional Learning

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Cross-curricular support
  • Alignment to standards

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Creating a Stronger Learning Community through Virtual Field Trips​

VASD Logo Square

Verona Area School District

Verona, WI

Discovery Education’s Impact

Verona Area School District was looking for fresh, innovative ways to engage students with learning that extends beyond the traditional classroom setting. The teachers wanted to offer rigorous academic content while also elevating their students’ sense of community and leadership skills. They found an invaluable resource in the Discovery Education Experience learning platform and its included Virtual Field Trips to bring an exciting, hands-on learning experience to K-12 students.

verona asd katie ledecky vft
Edit Content
verona asd katie ledecky vft

Popular among Discovery Education educators, Virtual Field Trips take students on a unique journey to make real-world connections: like meeting Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Katie Ledecky and learning about STEM careers, visiting the arctic tundra to observe polar bears, or going behind the scenes at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, TN. These resources make an impact by creating connections between educators within a district, between subjects like music and physics, and between students and their community.

Since 2016, the district has been creating a new kind of interactive, hands-on learning activity that incorporates Virtual Field Trips and a little magic from its dedicated Educational Technology Coach, Rita Mortenson. What started out as a simple collaboration between teachers has evolved into a cross-curricular, cross-grade level learning experience. Now high schoolers are brought to the younger grades, and vice versa, to collaborate and experience the Virtual Field Trip together in engaging ways that they themselves have a hand in designing.

I’m very passionate about bringing joy to all spaces and elevating teachers. For instance, when we used Discovery Education to create an experience pairing a 2nd grade class with an AP Physics class, the AP Physics teacher said it was some of the greatest learning she has ever helped facilitate. It was amazing to see her students teach younger students about science experiments and watch them be leaders. We love to be champions for the teachers by helping create these moments.
verona asd 2

Lightbulb Moments

These Virtual Field Trips are more than just a video to add into a lesson or show to students. The first example of this innovative collaboration among Verona Area School District students used the NFL Play 60 Virtual Field Trip, created in partnership with the National Football League and the American Heart Association. Students from different high school athletic and academic programs were brought in to help design hands-on learning activities stemming from this digital resource to connect with elementary students and engage them in skill building.

verona asd 1
Edit Content
verona asd 1

Today, there are a multitude of lightbulb moments showcasing how students connect through engaging, hands-on learning with these collaborative activities, and their impact extends beyond the classroom, too! High school students are empowered to make an impact on the younger generation and sharpen their leadership skills, which builds a sense of community.

Creating joy for students through these hands-on activities can help them learn new things or show what they have learned throughout a unit. For example, when elementary students completed a unit on weather, we set up an Extreme Weather Virtual Field Trip experience using Discovery Education Experience, with different stations students visited with high schoolers. This experience helps teachers visualize what they can do with online content and how to make it fun and exciting for their students. Making that connection between students and staff, but also between the curriculum and grade levels is really important!

Looking Ahead

According to teachers in the district, these collaborative Virtual Field Trips are “the best learning experience for their class,” and it’s been gaining more traction every year. The interest has expanded beyond the topics represented in Virtual Field Trips, which leaders like Rita see as an opportunity to lean on Discovery Education’s high-quality, diverse content to create even more collaborative learning opportunities.

With the support of district leadership and principals, Rita, Lisette, and other teacher-leaders are planning 10 or even 20 events a year, all while encouraging the participation of more teachers. Lastly, bringing in community leaders and outside industry leaders would open the door to Virtual Field Trips focused on careers to help prepare students for the future workforce and overall success.

Quick Facts

School Details

  • 10 schools serving 5,700+ students
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2011

Solutions

  • Experience
  • Mystery Science
  • Science Techbook for Middle School

Classroom Application

  • Core and supplemental instruction
  • Cross-curricular hands-on learning

Share This Story

Embark on Your Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Making a Change in STEAM Culture​

CCSD logo

Cherokee County School District

Acworth, GA

Discovery Education’s Impact

With increased awareness on the immediacy of providing students with STEAM opportunities that prepare them for a bright future, Cherokee County School District was committed to ensuring educators could instill a new and effective STEAM culture in their classrooms. In 2019, Cherokee County School District launched a 3-year partnership with Discovery Education to transform the STEAM culture in its elementary and middle schools. Through this innovative partnership, a professional learning program was implemented to build capacity in high-quality STEAM instruction and help teacher-leaders across the district bring engaging, personalized, and inquiry-based learning to classrooms. Together, Discovery Education and Cherokee addressed the district’s strategic goals to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to become STEAM literate and competitive in the future workforce;
  • Transform a culture of teaching and learning that integrates critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity to develop a student-centered learning environment;
  • Ignite a clear and uniform STEAM definition for the district;
  • Integrate digital content into a cohesive K-12 curriculum, with consistent and effective professional learning that supports a sustainable culture shift; and
  • Foster community, business, and key stakeholder engagement.

The partnership also gave K-8 teachers access to Discovery Education Experience, our PreK-12 learning platform, and Mystery Science to help them implement the culture shift in STEAM instruction and support cross-curricular learning. These solutions offer ways to engage students with real-world learning and give teachers peace of mind in planning their day.

My biggest challenge was finding materials that are student friendly. Discovery Education has eliminated the process of having to search through various resources to find information that is student friendly, and I know that students will like. Having two Discovery Education products within one platform eliminates the hassle of having to navigate extra resources. It has shortened my prep time significantly and has helped me spend more time with interventions and enrichment activities.

Looking Ahead

Today the partnership successfully delivers a quality, engaging STEAM education to K-8 students that builds leadership capacity, improves instructional practice, and increases student engagement. Through Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning support, educators across the district see the impact of investing in a STEAM culture that prepares their students for success.

Quick Facts

School Details

  • 40 schools and centers serving 42,000+ students
  • Partnered with Discovery Education since 2019

Solutions

  • Experience
  • Mystery Science
  • Professional Learning

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental STEAM for grades K‑5
  • STEAM leadership professional learning

Share This Story

Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals