Dreambox at Home

A guide to using the district's adaptive math tool

What is Dreambox?

Dreambox is an adaptive math program that is being used in the Beaverton School District by K-8 students during the school day and at home as well. Dreambox constantly collects data from students and provides them with lessons, hints, and pacing to best match each child as an individual learner. The tool is visually interesting and engages students in concept based tasks. It is important that students DO NOT use paper/pencil so that the program can collect data about how the child solves the problems. Having the volume up or using headphones is also necessary.

This tool is supported by the district’s math department and was adopted by the School Board for K-5. All students in grades K-8 in our district have access to this tool all year long, including summer access. Dreambox works best on a computer or iPad with the free app.

Hear from a BSD teacher and student

Dreambox at Beaver Acres

Why should we do it at home?

Students are asked to complete between 5-10 lessons in Dreambox each week to make optimal growth throughout the year. Our current math practices include time for collaboration and talking about math strategies with peers, which means that independent work may need to be completed at home.

How is Dreambox Different than other Math Homework?

1. It's on a screen

2. Wrong answers are okay

3. There is a built in help/hint button

4. Students DO NOT use paper/pencil to solve problems

5. When students are finished, they must click the X in the top right to quit (otherwise Dreambox may not save their progress)

While in a Dreambox lesson, the program is following a student's every move. Any help they get could move them beyond their understanding and lead to more difficult problems and therefore more frustration. The best way to help your child is to remind them about the help button. The help offered is different each time and the program keeps track of where help is needed and adjusts lessons accordingly. If no help/hint is available, encourage guesses and remind your student that a wrong answer only makes the tool more individualized for their learning.

What does "Adaptive" mean?

More than 48,000 data points are collected during every hour a student uses DreamBox Learning Math. The technology tracks the strategies used to solve problems and the interactions he/she has in the program. It then immediately adjusts the lesson and the level of difficulty, sequencing, number of hints, and pacing to best match the learner. This allows students, whether struggling, at grade level, or advanced, to progress at a pace that best benefits them and deepens conceptual understanding.

Why Dreambox and not another digital math program?

Dreambox was chosen to compliment our adoption (which includes Best Practices in a Math Workshop and the curriculum Context For Learning Mathematics CFLM). Dreambox teaches students in a way that conceptually matches the work teachers are doing during workshop. Students are assigned work that best meets their needs and helps to build conceptual understanding at their developmental level. This is especially beneficial when the skills students need is not at their current grade level.

We have heard that other online math programs are highly engaging for students, but what we found when evaluated other programs is that they do not allow for productive struggle in the way that Dreambox does. Also, we know that if a program has students do math to earn some other fun activity, we are giving the message that math is not fun. With Dreambox you earn math game time by doing math.

Some of the key things to keep in mind when looking at educational math games:

1. Is there time pressure? (not having time pressure is a good thing.)

2. Is it focused on conceptual understanding?

3. How does it handle mistakes?

How do I get my child logged in?

iPad directions (If your student is in grades K-2, you may need to request a class code or a Clever QR code from the classroom teacher)

Computer directions (If your student is in grades K-2 you will need to request their BSD log in information from the classroom teacher)

Dreambox does not currently work on Android tablets or phones. Contact your student's teacher if you need help getting access to a device or wifi.

Questions to help your child during a Dreambox lesson

1. Have you clicked the help or hint button?

2. What do you think you are supposed to do here?

3. Show me what you’re doing that isn’t working.

4. What have you tried already?

5. Have you learned something in other Dreambox lessons that could help here?

If you have asked these and nothing has helped, it might be time for a break.

Click here for more on how to help.

What if my student gets frustrated?

Dreambox lessons will likely be challenging for your student. We want the level of challenge to lead to meaningful learning and deeper understanding of math concepts. The directions for the lessons are designed so that students have to try different strategies or click around to learn more about the problem. Remember, wrong answers only give the system more information and are not a "bad" thing.

If you feel like the lessons are too hard or your student is consistently reaching a level of frustration that is not productive, please encourage your student to communicate with their teacher or reach out to the teacher yourself.

How can I see my child's progress?

The best way to see progress is to create a parent account.

  1. Go to the district’s student apps page.

  2. Have your child login to his or her profile just as it would be done at school.

  3. Click Setup Parent Access at the bottom of the page. (small blue print)

  4. Follow the instructions to create a login (email) and password (12 characters).

  5. Read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  6. Click Submit.

Once you have an account, you will log into your 'Family Insights Dashboard' at http://play.dreambox.com and click Family Dashboard after entering username and password.