Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CLOSED-Win a Free Month of a Fantastic Math Program, Dreambox Learning!


Whether you home school or not, summers are a much needed break, am I right or am I right?

Yet the spring always comes much quicker than we expect, and those last few months of getting through curriculum and learning/reviewing skills can take its toll. Then suddenly it's all over, and we sigh with relief, as we look forward to sunshine, vacations and even possibly sleeping in. MMMMMM in-sleeping. Niceness.

But, I am sure many parents, like me, aren't 100% comfy with dropping academics entirely over the summer, especially when we know that many skills and concepts can get ultra fuzzy, if not forgotten, over those three care-free months.

Well I have a little somethin' somethin' for ya! Go ahead, read on!

Last year, when my son was in 2nd grade, I reviewed a math site called Dreambox Learning. My trial was over the summer and I tell you what, I loved it, as did Jacob! This year I was ecstatic to find out they extended the program, which was K-2, to include 3rd grade, and I was even MORE ecstatic when they asked me (and my kids) to review it!

This program is based on national standards and actually tailors the lessons to your child's individual learning using their GuideRight™ technology, adapting as your child moves through fun and engaging lessons with story lines that include dinosaurs, pirates, fairies and cute little woodland creatures!

Your kids stay motivated with endearing characters and by receiving tokens to use to play at the arcade and other games at the Carnival. The Carnival is a place where kids essentially play games, which are fun math exercises, that continue to reinforce math concepts and aid in developing critical thinking. My kids and I love the petting zoo, not only because it's fun (they are learning basic spacial concepts and multiplication) but because the animals are so dang cute and make the cutest noises. I am not kidding. The characters are precious. I could listen to the cow moo all day. I could.

In fact, both my kids could play on this site all day. The site allows up to four students under the parent's account. Your kids get to choose their avatar and a picture password to get into their own curriculum. Audrey is in 1st and Jacob is in the new 3rd grade program.

Their journey starts out by determining their math level, skipping areas they are proficient in, reviewing areas where they may have taken a while to answer or needed extra hints, and then designing their lessons based on their individual learning style. What I love is that I am actually able to step away from the teaching process and allow them to work on their own, because the program will guide them through the entire process, explaining to them what they got right and wrong, helping them to look at a math problem in different ways, and even suggesting alternate ways to go about achieving the right answer. This program looks different than any math program I have seen on-line thus far. Take a look!

And as you saw, the parent dashboard is clear and helpful in seeing exactly where your child stands based on academic standards. As the kids complete lessons, I am sent emails on their progress, which I LOVE! Here are two examples I received today, this one is for Jacob:

Congratulations are in order for Jacob! He has successfully completed a DreamBox module on early multiplication, in particular automatizing the basic multiplication facts.

In this module, Jacob has been exploring the use of doubling and halving. Unlike many other programs, DreamBox builds the foundation for later algebra in an integrated way as the basic multiplication facts are learned, rather than isolating all of the facts as if they are separate. DreamBox makes use, right from the start, of the relationships between the facts. For example, 5 x 8 can be derived by using another equivalent fact that may be known, such as 10 x 4. Doubling 1 factor and halving the other produces an equivalent expression: 5 x 8 = 10 x 4.

Special DreamBox tools called virtual manipulatives (such as the virtual open number line) helped Jacob visualize the relationships as jumps on a track—for example, where 5 jumps of 8 is simultaneously shown as 10 jumps of 4. Two smaller jumps (half the size) for every larger jump mean that twice as many jumps are needed.

The associative property underlies doubling and halving: 2 x (2 x 8) = (2 x 2) x 8. Not only is Jacob learning the basic facts, he is working on early algebra!

Here's an activity you can do with Jacob that will give you a chance to explore and celebrate what he has been learning in DreamBox! Remember: you can always check Jacob's academic progress on the Parent Dashboard.

On-the-Run: Equivalent Expressions
Ask Jacob to provide a multiplication problem. You provide an equivalent expression by doubling 1 factor and halving the other. For example if Jacob M says 4 x 6, you could say 8 x 3, or 2 x 12. Take turns thinking of a basic fact like this!

And you even receive emails that update you on the progress in the Carnival, such as this one for Audrey:

Congratulations are in order for Audrey! She has successfully solved level three of the Frog Race.

In this puzzle, Audrey successfully determined how far away the nearest multiple of ten was from the numbers supplied by the DreamBox number generator. For example, when presented with a number such as 84 and then shown 80 and 90, Audrey picked 80 as the nearest multiple and 4 as the distance away.

At first, demarcations of the steps were shown on the riverbed, like on a number line, to allow for counting. But in her most recent level in the puzzle, Audrey was able to determine the distance without the lines!

The On-the-Run activity below is a good opportunity to explore what Audrey is learning when you have a little time together. Let her show you what she has learned, so you can celebrate her accomplishment!

On-the-Run: Nearest Ten

Pick a number between 10-100 that's not a multiple of 10. Ask Audrey to supply the landmark number (multiple of ten) that is closest and to determine the distance between the number you chose and the landmark number. For example if you pick 37, Audrey would say 40 is closer than 30, and it's 3 away from 37. Then let Audrey give you a problem to solve!

Remember: you can always check Audrey's academic progress on the Parent Dashboard.

I tell you, this is the way to go, whether you are supplementing your home school curriculum through the year, or looking to keep math skills up, and developing, during the summer months!

And so for you, dear readers, Dreambox is graciously offering a free one-month trial to the winner of this giveaway! Here's how to enter!

Mandatory entry:

1. Go to the Dreambox website, and tell me something that impresses you about their program. Leave me your email address. These two actions are mandatory to enter.

These are separate, bonus entries worth 1 entry each:

2. Become a fan on Dreambox learning on FB, come back here commenting with your first name so I know you did it! :)

3. Tweet about this giveaway, saying, win a Dreambox Learning free month trial hosted by @insanitykim with the link to this giveaway post. Come back here with your tweet link.

This is worth 5 entries:

4. Blog about this giveaway with a link to this post and to Dreambox. Come back here and comment with the link to your post.

This giveaway will run from May 12 to May 19th, ending at 12pm EST. I will choose a winner using the Random Number Generator (RNG). The winner will have 3 days to contact me. In the event that the winner does not contact me, I will have the RNG pick a new winner.

And there it is! I must say thank you again to Dreambox for the opportunity to review this great product and for being gracious to offer this as well to my readers!

I SO hope you win! And by you I mean, of course, you.

Happy Day!

I provide reviews and giveaways as a packaged deal, I do not provide review only or giveaway only posts. This blog requires compensation, and all shipping costs paid, for review/giveaway packages in the form of receiving the review product for me and/or my family, not to be returned.

I am not monetarily compensated to provide my opinion on products I review and/or giveaway. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. If I claim or appear to be well-informed and versed on a certain topic or product or service area, I will do so only endorsing products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

I will always be honest and forthcoming with my readers and the businesses I work with, providing the best review/giveaway posts that I can.


w said...

i like the updanates on studmant progress.


li'l tot would love this. she just started counting on her fingers and she's so proud of herself. me too. the proud part. not the counting on fingers part.

Unknown said...

this is cool...I like how the site is user friendly...and pleasing to the eye

We have review workbooks now...something online would probably keep mini me more interested


buenos dias

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a way to keep my third grader up to date on his math over the summer--I think this may be perfect! The characters are adorable & I really like how the multiplication concepts are presented. And it will seem like computer time to him--not school during the summer!

Kearsie said...

I like this because it just looks fun for kids, I know my two would use it and love it!


SierraMac said...

Cool! I like that the lessons are based on NCTM standards. That's important...cause they know what they're talking about.

Looks like fun - and it looks like it's adaptive enough for any level!

SierraMac said...

Yo. Newest FB fan RIGHT HERE!

I don't tweet or blog, so...yeah. Guess I miss out on 5 extra entries.

I'll just have to rely on the RNG.


concretemom said...

I love that it adapts to the child. It focuses on how fast the child got the answer and how many hints he or she needed to answer. shanneman at gmail.com

concretemom said...

Following via google friend. shanneman at gmail.com

Miss Fit said...

It looks fun and I'm all about the fun in learning!

Miss Fit said...



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w said...

i blogged abold this, man.


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