How I Use It
I received a grant to use this product during the 2013-2014 school year with my students. Setup for the product was pretty easy. I had to input my students' names and then assign them to complete Addition/Subtract 0-10, Multiplication/Division 0-10, or Multiplication/Division 0-12. As my students were in the 4th grade, I chose Multiplication/Division 0-12 for all of them. The program automatically generated usernames and passwords for every child.
This program was used for a small group math session. My students would log in during computer lab time, and once they were logged in, they would use the program for about 20 minutes. The program itself adapts to every child's ability level, and tracks the changes that are made each day. Students would log in. They would first complete short games in the Fact Fair area to test their typing fluency and what they remembered from previous sessions. This is different when students log in for the first time though, which is when they complete go through a series of coaching and games to see what they already know about their facts. They also create a avatar persona and customize it. During a usual login, they would go from the Fact Fair to choosing their first game of choice. In order to play the game, they had to complete a coaching session with Coach Penny, as well as 2 fact fluency puzzles, based on their skill levels. After they did that, they were free to play the game they had selected, or choose a different game. Games would give them coins to save to purchase items. New games were unlocked every 5 days, as long as a student received a green light for that day. Eventually they would plant a seed to grow their progress tree. The progress tree would show their growth, and as it got bigger, students would be able to purchase items for their tree.
Once students have completed enough content for the session, a green light appears on their screen and they are able to visit the store. They can buy items for their avatar to wear. Once their progress tree has grown enough, they will also have the option to buy items for their tree. They are only able to customize their avatar or tree once the green light is on, not before.
The game tracks their progress for teachers and gives awards certificates for meeting different milestones. Teachers can track growth from day 1 to the final day of Reflex.
Reflex Math became the best way to have students practice fact fluency in the classroom. They were hooked on the product and loved the ability to customize their avatar and play games. I loved that it adapted to each child's individual need as necessary. I would have students completing the program faster than others, and I would then set them to complete the addition/subtraction skills to work on their fluency while others still worked on the multiplication/division piece. In the classroom, I noticed a huge different in student learning when it came to teaching multiplication and division concepts in the classroom. Students built their knowledge much more quickly, and were ready for harder concepts much sooner as well.
My class began with 15% fluency in multiplication and division, and ended the school year with 97% fluency. Every child, but one reached 100% fluency with the program. I would highly recommend this program as a different approach to drill and kill techniques.