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Leaders in Learning: Playing with your 'homework'

Each student completed an average of 134 lessons during the challenge (Abigail Taylor, KBOI)

Long gone are the days of boring math lessons!

Students at Ponderosa Elementary in Meridian are learning how to add, subtract and multiply... and they're having fun while doing it!

It's all part of a program called DreamBox, an educational math game that adjusts to each students learning level as they play.

"The goal here is to take what they already want to do and alter it so they’re actually learning while doing it and not forcing them to do something they don’t want to do," said Ms. Duckwall, a 2nd Grade Teacher.

Ms. Duckwall's class is the nation's leader in their division for DreamBox games completed. Her class won a three-week-long competition against thousands of classrooms across the country.

Each student completed an average of 134 lessons during the challenge.

"The coolest thing is that we beat all those other classes! We just played and played and some people even played at home," said Ella Blakely, a 2nd Grader in Ms. Duckwall's class.

Apparently, motivating students to work on their math becomes pretty easy when it is something they enjoy doing!

"I've actually gotten rid of all homework," said Ms. Duckwall. "We've gone completely to gaming and it's been so successful!"

Ms. Duckwall says her students' parents have been very supportive because they see what a difference it has made in their children's' learning.

"I think it’s really important that we harness what the students already like to do, instead of teaching the way we used to teach. Although that works, the way we learned, this is an opportunity to move beyond that," said Ms. Duckwall. "With a worksheet there’s a beginning and an end. With gaming there is no end and that is what allows the students to be so enriched and have the opportunity that they need to succeed in life!"

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