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Regular Use of DreamBox Math Significantly Improved MAP Scores

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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.
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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!
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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

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Creating a Stronger Learning Community through Virtual Field Trips​

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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

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Waterford Students See Big Gains in Reading with DreamBox

Waterford Graded School District Students Using DreamBox Reading Averaged 3.2+ Reading Level Gains

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Waterford Graded School District

Waterford, Wisconsin

Waterford Graded School District comprises three PK-5 elementary schools and one 6-8 middle school. District educators strive to close the achievement gap (measured as on-track to graduation) and accelerate the academic growth of its students. One tool teachers use to achieve that goal is DreamBox Reading.

DreamBox Reading continually collects student data and one of the most impressive features, according to educators, is SeeReader, where the program tracks a student’ independent reading rate. It then adapts to each student’s abilities, giving them the right lessons at the right time.

DreamBox Reading's Impact

Waterford has found that DreamBox Reading helps them meet the needs for student intervention and accelerated student enrichment.  As an intervention tool, DreamBox Reading provides intervention for students who need help beyond the universal level in fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, stamina and even motivation.  On the other hand, for gifted students, DreamBox Reading adapts to higher reading levels that challenge their abilities.

We use DreamBox Reading as a tool for closing achievement gaps in reading as well as a tool to promote academic growth in our most accelerated learners.
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Jane Aegerter
Director of Student and Staff Services

DreamBox Reading recommends to educators that students complete 80+ lessons in a year to see the biggest gains. Students at Waterford Graded School District certainly grew in the 2021-22 school year. Those who completed 80+ lessons grew an average of 3.2 reading levels. Additionally, those who completed 100+ lessons averaged 4.0 reading level gains.

Aegerter knows that DreamBox Reading is working because it does what it says it will when students use it the recommended amount. It even helps improve fluency when students can’t complete the recommended lessons.

DreamBox Reading levels the playing field among the students. All groups, from below-level to accelerated students, use DreamBox Reading, and the results speak for themselves.

If you look at our data, students who have an opportunity to interact with DreamBox Reading for the prescribed amount of time have made tremendous growth; up to five [reading] levels. The students who are not able to interact with the program as much as we would hope are still seeing wonderful growth.
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Jane Aegerter
Director of Student and Staff Services

2021-2022 Average Reading Level Gains

Along with the proven student growth, educators appreciate the professional development and availability of DreamBox representatives in implementing the program.

Ongoing professional development is in the works for fall to keep everyone up to date on the nuances, new features and to review last year’s data. All staff have embraced the value of DreamBox Reading and are open to finding new ways to ensure students have the time and space to complete as many lessons as possible to reach their full potential.

Working with DreamBox has been a dream, quite frankly. [Reps] have supported our district by conducting both virtual and in-person training for our teachers several times. It’s not a one-and-done experience.
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Jane Aegerter
Director of Student and Staff Services

Quick Facts

District Details

  • 4 schools serving 1,400+ students in PreK-8 
  • Partnered with DreamBox since 2017

Solutions

  • DreamBox Reading

Classroom Application

  • Supplemental

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Embark on Your Impact Journey with Discovery Education

Learn How Discovery Education Can Help You Achieve Your Goals