Curt and I are expecting our first baby! We are beyond excited to welcome our baby girl into the world. There are so many thoughts and feelings running through our heads though. What will the world be like once she's here? Should we start saving for her college as soon as she's born? How can we accommodate our finances or eliminate any debt before our baby girl arrives?

As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we decided we should make a financial plan to help us save money now and for our future. One of the main debts that has been a burden for us has been my student loans. I graduated with my Masters in reading education back in 2015. I've been making monthly payments toward my loans ever since. But it just feels like the majority of my payments are going straight toward the interest and the principal is just hanging in there waving at me! Student loans can be confusing and extremely overwhelming. Anyone else on the student loan struggle bus? 

Luckily and coincidentally, I stumbled across Chipper, a student loan automation company that specializes in helping student loan borrowers qualify for income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs. 
They have done an outstanding job at helping me understand and manage my student loan options. I've learned so much about the different repayment plans and forgiveness programs I didn't even know I qualified for! After chatting with Jessica from Chipper, I discovered I’m eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness AND Teacher Loan Forgiveness! Ya'll, this means I can actually have my loans forgiven! That's a huge weight off our shoulders, especially during this big transition in our lives.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness 

Since I qualify for both forgiveness programs, I needed to pick the best option for me. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is best for my loan situation since I owe less than $30,000 and have already made the required 5 years of consecutive payments. This program indicates that if you are a full-time teacher at a Title 1 school, you may be eligible for $5,000 or $17,500 off of your student loans.

Public Loan Forgiveness 

However, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program may be best for you if you owe more than $30,000. While pursuing this forgiveness program you can also cap your required monthly payments in proportion to your monthly income. After 120 qualifying payments you can be eligible for complete student loan forgiveness! This program is available to teachers and public service employees.

Discover Which Program is Best for You

99% of people that apply for student loan forgiveness are rejected. Chipper helps their members be a part of that 1% that gets approved! Discover your student loan repayment and forgiveness options through Chipper's FREE services!

Finding a way to encourage our reluctant readers to become excited about reading isn't always the easiest task. Unfortunately when students feel frustrated with reading, they tend to avoid any activity related to it. 

Luckily, Dreamscape is an online reading game that 2nd-8th grade students actually love using. The engaging video game navigates students through a series of challenges in order to build up a dwell and defend themselves from other characters. As students answer comprehension questions, they are able to unlock several rewards, build dwells, battle other characters, and much more! Students are so immersed in the gamification platform that they seem to forget that they're actually practicing reading skills along the way. The better students perform on the actual comprehension questions, the further they will advance in the game. This encourages kiddos to try their best since it affects their overall gaming results. 

Why Teachers Love Dreamscape:

+ It's completely FREE for both students and teachers.
+ Students can access Dreamscape from home or school.
+ The curriculum is aligned to State Standards.
+ Reluctant readers LOVE the game.
+ The platform includes assignment tools, diagnostic testing, and several reporting features.
+ It can be played on a desktop or on the Dreamscape app.
+ The dashboard access is open to parents and administrators. 

Why Students Love Dreamscape:

+ Students can send friend requests or join a class to play with other classmates and friends.
+ Students can challenge and compete against their best friends!
+ They gain rewards as they complete challenges and/or question streaks.
Avatars can be customized and upgraded as they advance in the game.
+ It's competitive, interactive, and similar to video games they've been exposed to before.

 Dreamscape Dashboard:

The Dreamscape dashboard includes a number of performance reporting and assignment tools that are perfect for customizing lessons and tailoring to the needs of individual students.
Placement Test: Differentiation is KEY. Their new placement test feature allows teachers to see what level each student is reading on, their areas for growth, and strengths at the beginning of the school year. Teachers are able to use this feature to assign specific skills on the platform or reinforce standards.

Skill Comprehension: See how students are progressing in each skill and design lessons to focus on specific ones. This feature allows you to customize the lessons by choosing the genre and how many questions you want to assign per skill.

Real-Time Dashboard: Monitor your students' data in real-time as they play the game. This is perfect for in-class use during a technology hour and/or center. Teachers can ensure that students are on-task, pull students for conferencing, and track students that need the most help.

How Can Dreamscape Be Used During Distance and In-Person Learning?

There are many uncertainties about this upcoming school year. Some districts have opted for distance learning (virtual learning), while others are continuing instruction in person. Regardless of your current teaching situation, Dreamscape is a great tool to keep kiddos excited about reading! 
Here are some ways Dreamscape can be used Virtually:
+ Assign as homework during distance learning 
+ Dreamscape 'Break'-- 15-20 minute virtual learning break where students can compete against their classmates. Teachers can monitor progress using the real-time dashboard feature. 
+ Create a Dreamscape Club at your school- students can meet virtually once a week to discuss the game, strategies, progress, and more! 

I hope you find Dreamscape to be as useful as I have! I'm beyond excited about exposing my students to the game and seeing them engaged in reading instruction. 

Check out the Dreamscape website and create your FREE account!

Post sponsored by Dreamscape

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