Maryland districts strengthen elementary math curriculum

Some districts are using game-based math programs to boost achievement.

Two Maryland school districts have implemented a math program to bolster math competency for thousands of the state’s youngest students in kindergarten through third grade.

Maryland’s Carroll County and Howard County school districts are currently deploying DreamBox Learning K-3 Math, an individualized online math program, for a variety of math-specific academic needs. Based on the program’s adaptive engine, which is designed to individually help students at all learning stages–above, at, or below grade level–usage has ranged from reinforcing core classroom math curriculum to pull-out math intervention, integration into math lab activities, and as an additive teaching tool for after school and summer school programs.

“DreamBox Learning K-3 Math provides an ideal connection to our curriculum by reinforcing what the students are learning in the classroom,” said Donn Hicks, supervisor of elementary education for the Carroll County School District.

“Some of our high-performing students are using the program to further strengthen their number sense comprehension while others, who may be below grade level, have benefited from spending an extra 15-20 minutes working on foundational basics. For both sets of students, the blend of classroom instruction and DreamBox Learning K-3 Math has been a big win,” Hicks said.

Carroll County uses DreamBox Learning K-3 Math to support students in kindergarten through second grade in 20 of the district’s 23 elementary schools.

“We are thrilled to showcase DreamBox Learning K-3 Math at the NCTM Expo in Baltimore, in the backyard of where the program is making such an impactful difference in the way students are learning and excelling in mathematics,” said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, DreamBox Learning’s CEO. “One ofthe many strengths of DreamBox Learning K-3 Math is its ability to adapt to the comprehension level of each student, and we’re seeing that play out not only in Maryland but in schools nationwide. From supporting core classroom curriculum to math intervention, DreamBox Learning K-3 Math puts every student first by delivering lessons that are shaped to that learner’s educational needs and moving them toward mastery of the subject.”

In addition to Carroll County, DreamBox Learning K-3 Math is being used in Howard County elementary schools to supplement classroom instruction and to reinforce core math concepts, lessons, and skills. The program allows the district’s schools to link classroom accounts to students’ family home computers, which lets them access the DreamBox Learning K-3 Math at any time to work on math skills. Both teachers and parents are also able to track students’ classroom and home progress via the online DreamBox Learning dashboard.

DreamBox Learning K-3 Math’s curriculum is based on Common Core State Standards. The program is wrapped within an adventure style game, providing a fun way for kids to learn math while it individualizes its instruction based on students’ conceptual understanding and fluency, as well as the correctness of their answers.

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