How I Use It
Last year a colleague and I received a grant from Reflex Math to try this research-based program for a full year, which would have cost us $1,120 apiece at $35 a student. Because I had a class set of Chromebooks with earbuds, the first half of the school year I started my math class with a fifteen minute Reflex session four or five times a week. The second half of the year I reduced the time down to fifteen minutes three or four times a week, with some of my more advanced students who were already fluent using Calculation Nation, a NCTM website, or participating in small group instruction. There are three assignments a teacher can give students, addition and subtraction 0-10, multiplication and division 0-10, and multiplication and division 0-12. As a fifth grade teacher, I started my more advanced students on the multiplication and division 0-12 and my less able students on multiplication 0-10. Once my fifth graders were fluent with multiplication and division, I assigned them addition and subtraction. I used the easily accessible teacher reports to print out fact detail charts for students' binders, motivate students with our class and individual fluency improvement, and check on student usage. (When students have solved enough facts for the day they receive a "green light.") If a student did not receive a green light in our class session, I encouraged them to finish their session at home.
Reflex Math is an invaluable tool for an elementary math class. One of the best features of the program is that students learn related operations at the same time, with visual representations that help them deepen their understanding. They internalized the concepts of the operations, applying them during our problem-solving sessions. By Christmas my class was 97% fluent in multiplication and division. The payoff was huge during our fractions and division units. Because of their facility with math facts, my students were much better-equipped to focus on the new concepts.