The issue I want to address is engagement with standards-based rigor in my classroom. I want my students to be held accountable for independent learning during Math rotations, especially. My low math scores reflect poor engagement on independent practicing. I observe and monitor student success during whole group instruction and small group instruction, however many of my students struggle when they go off on their own to practice and deepen new knowledge. They tend to feel confusion and frustration, which leads to disengagement and more management than teaching on my end.
Step 1: Integrate an adaptive math software into math rotations
Step 2: Plan for and adjust station rotation model to meet time constraints, rotation limitations, small group needs, etc.
Step 3: Analyze software data, classroom observations, and student evidence frequently
Step 4: Adjust instruction based on data and student feedback
Step 6: Adjust station rotations as needed, based on student data and evidence of learning
Step 7: Monitor Fall, Winter, and EOY data to determine growth, success areas, and make modifications to plan for future instruction.
Step 8: Celebrate success with students who are growing and achieving their skills.
Reflection & Findings:
I am on week 3 of using Dreambox. I have not had a chance to dive into the data at this point. It is my understanding that there will be a break-out group for Dreambox on the 20th and I will get more acquainted with the system and data benefits at that point. I do know a few things for sure: my students have completed 338 lessons on Dreambox, and completed .2 of 4th grade standards. My students are extremely motivated and engaged with Dreambox. They frequently ask to get on Dreambox, and they discuss the different units that they are on—including skills that they have not learned from me yet!
Dreambox has become a mandatory "rotation" during my small group math block. Students in my classroom at that time are on and practicing. This is 68 percent of my class.
It has been tough for some of my lower math students who were placed at the 4th grade level automatically. Is there a way to lower them so they feel more successful with Dreambox?
The students who are regularly on Dreambox are loving it. I like the rigor in the tasks that Dreambox asks them to do. The music component is fun as well (with headphones), and helps create a calm, quiet classroom environment for my math small groups. Also, having 5 additional devices has allowed for my students to be on technology for 2 out of the 4 small group rotations. They are using Dreambox, and FrontRow/FastMath/FractionNation each day, without running into the problem of not enough devices.
Overall, I love being a part of Trailblazers. I have felt supported and I have gotten an immense amount of ideas to implement in my classroom. I think that technology implementation is imperative in today's classrooms.
Reflection 2: April 20, 2017
My students are still extremely engaged in Dreambox. They are feeling more confident with content that we haven't covered yet, or covered a while ago.
My students are now on Dreambox every day for a minimum of 10 minutes. If they finish their work in the afternoon during our reading block, they know that I will allow Dreambox as an academic choice. My next steps will be to show individual students the data as an attempt to motivate them to use Dreambox more, and hit more 4th grade standards.
A roadblock is not quite being 1:1 on devices. I am extremely lucky to have 16 devices in my room, yet it does make a difference for the 8 students who cannot participate on Dreambox, Lexia, FasttMath, FrontRow, etc. if need-be.
I see engaged, and focused kids who are motivated by the Dreambox program. This is also helping to create a classroom environment that is quiet and intentional, so I can really dive into my small group instruction without distractions. I look forward to using the DreamBox data to pull more small groupings—with an emphasis on what the students need to review prior to the Map Assessments in early May.
Reflection 3: May 31, 2017
I feel very lucky to be a part of this group of colleagues! I have learned an immense amount of things from the professional developments about technology and integrating different pieces of it into my 4th grade classroom. I am grateful for the 5 additional student devices/headphones that I received, and I am especially grateful for the math program for my students—Dreambox. This program not only engaged my students during the math block, but it was challenging and data-focused. I was able to look up individual students, see what they were struggling on, and tailor lessons to that. It also allowed some of my higher students to go beyond 4th grade skills and try things like decimals and exponents. Adding this into my math small groups worked extremely well. I look forward to implementing it next year with my 3rd grade class. I also loved learning more about programs like Planbook.com and One Note through collaboration days. I implemented both of these easily and immediately into my classroom and personal organization. My students love One Note and it has been great to use with DMR—and it saves paper!
The support system through Trailblazers has been great. It was well-led by a talented group of educators and I loved the feedback I received throughout the year, along with the never-ending ideas related to technology. I can't wait until year two of Trailblazers!!