DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is an excellent online resource for both parents and children. Parents can log in using the Parent Dashboard to enroll children, and easy-to-use tools are provided for monitoring the progress reports of each child. Children click the large Play button to enter the child-friendly Adventure Park and engage in fun, interactive activities which improve proficiency in K-2 math. The incentive is to complete lessons in order to earn tokens for games at the carnival.
There are at least 100 lessons for each of grades K-2, and the underlying curriculum is designed to develop computational fluency, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving ability. Content is aligned with Number and Operations Focal Points and Algebra Focal Points for each grade set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
DreamBox Learning develops and enhances foundational math understanding through a sequence of activities which allow the child both choice and variety in game play. Core manipulative tools include dot patterns (Numbergrams™), a ten frame, a mathrack (aka rekenrek), number lines, snap blocks, function machine, and a "Human Calculator™". Placement lessons are used to assess the child's existing knowledge and determine an appropriate curriculum.
We congratulate DreamBox Learning for this winning entry in the Early Elementary Math category.
[ePals, Inc. (703) 885-3400]
ePals began as a website designed to safely connect pen pals in schools worldwide, but once that was accomplished, the task became 'how to safely connect younger students to adult pen pals with a common interest in a highly motivating and literacy-based way.' So In2Books was born. Designed to foster reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, In2Books is evidence-based and curriculum-aligned, with an emphasis on reading high-interest books together with a carefully selected adult. Both parties then exchange emails about the shared book and about their own lives. The program trains teachers to effectively implement and monitor exchanges in the classroom.
Teachers also provide genre instruction, for which the yearlong curricula, the Informed Reader Series, teaches Realistic Fiction, Social Science, Biography, Folktales, and Science. But the most exciting aspect of the program is the authenticity of the publishing experience the students have: They are sharing their lives and thoughts with a grownup, and the motivation to improve their reading, comprehension, and writing skills is huge.
In2Books is a shining example of what thoughtful educators can do with best-practice methods without a whole lot of funds. We wish them the best of luck, and look forward to their next effort.