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Penn Wynne first graders win 2017 Fall DreamBox Learning Math Challenge
Penn Wynne first graders win 2017 Fall DreamBox Learning Math Challenge

Students in Mr. Seitz's first grade class at Penn Wynne Elementary School recently participated in the 2017 Fall DreamBox Learning Math Challenge – a biannual competition where thousands of students throughout the United States and Canada compete to complete the most DreamBox lessons.

DreamBox Learning is an online software provider focusing on mathematics education at the elementary and middle school levels providing students with more than 1,800 math-related lessons presented as animated adventures, games and challenges.

From October 30 through November 17, Mr. Seitz's class spent time before Morning Meeting, during "centers" and indoor recess, along with taking time practicing their math skills with DreamBox at home, to accurately complete as many lessons as possible. After three weeks of intense competition, the Penguins ultimately outperformed 1,184 other classrooms to win the Northeast Region K-2 Division in this year's contest. The Northeast Region consisted of classrooms from Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia. Mr. Seitz's class also placed 17th overall out of more than 9,300 teams in all of North America in grades K-8.

"DreamBox allows for the class to engage in a differentiated center while I work with another group face-to-face, and provides an additional tool to reiterate concepts I've taught during class," said Mr. Seitz. "I can see where students are progressing easily in the application and where they're struggling and it gives me even more insight on where to adapt my teaching strategies during whole-group instruction to better help them succeed. It even helps me by allowing me to directly give specific students assignments that incorporate things I know they may need a little extra practice on."

For their efforts, the Penn Wynne students will receive one "DreamPack" per student, which includes a DreamBox sports backpack, water bottle, notebook, pencils, and laptop sticker; a $100 Gift Card; and an Educator Tote Bag. As a class, the students came up with a list of ideas on how they wanted to spend the prize money and then voted on which to choose. The end result: students will be donating their $100 dollars to support the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation - an organization near and dear to Penn Wynne's heart.