June 12, 2012
Case Study: An Interview with Page Christenson, Learning Specialist, Covina Valley Unified School District, CA
How did you first hear about Reflex and what made you try it with your students?
We had identified a need for our students to become fluent with math facts. I talked to our sales rep, and he suggested we pilot Reflex.
What were your overall impressions of Reflex?
My impressions have been influenced by my students' enthusiasm and success. As I watch them, they are engaged and excited about playing the online games, earning tokens, and meeting goals so they can "graduate" by attaining fluency.
What have your students’ reactions been to using the program?
Students come to Reflex during one of their recesses. One of our directors stated that she had never seen students willingly stream into the lab to practice math facts during their recess time. I often have to remind them to walk because they are so excited. We currently have second through fifth graders scheduled in the lab but I created accounts for some of our first graders, too. Students never complain about coming to Reflex. They saw improvement in their abilities and they were having fun learning. When they get a green light, I tell them that they can "change games, go to the store or logout." Frequently, students say, "Do I have to go?"
How do you use Reflex with your students?
Because it is online, students with accounts can access it from home. Initially we had three main groups - morning recess for 4th/5th graders, afternoon recess for 3rd graders, and a "home club."
We had a contest and told students that we would have a "Purple Party" for students who bought purple skin for their avatars. That generated a lot of interest and students with home accounts logged in to earn enough tokens to buy purple skin. Students were excited to share their achievements. At the purple party, students were invited to the cafeteria to share a purple snack (juice, gum, licorice, cookies, etc.) and do some fun relays. It was a hit!
Our next contest was to see if students could buy a treehouse. That earned a chance to sign a poster and receive an award bracelet. Children are happy to report their results by telling me how many points they have, or call me over to look at their recent "purchases," or show me their grid displaying facts in which they've become fluent. We "graduate" them when they achieve over 90% fluency and invite other students to join us at recess.
Can you tell us about the results you have experienced so far?
About 50% of our students have "graduated." On the last report, approximately 99 of 199 students have achieved over 90% fact fluency. At the end of the school year, we will recognize students who have achieved over 90% fact fluency in our Spirit and Pride Assembly
What has motivated your students to continue using Reflex?
I think incremental goals are great motivators. The purple party and buying a treehouse have been successful for us. We provide the time and place for students. Reflex provides the fun learning tool filled with colors, motion, challenges, and a way of tracking accomplishments.
Tell us how you have used the reporting facility and about your favorite reports?
My favorite report is the "Status Report." I run a report each week for the purpose of “graduating” students and moving new students into the program.
If you have used other programs to help students develop math fact fluency, how does Reflex compare?
I believe in Reflex. When I see students excited about learning math facts, I feel fortunate that this program has become an integral part of our school.
Students realize that they know their facts with automaticity and reports reflect they're achieving fluency. I boast about it whenever I have the opportunity. I highly recommend Reflex.
We checked in to see how the fifth graders were doing, and were happy to see that the fifth graders had gone from 32% fluency to 80% fluency in their multiplication and division math facts (0-12) in just 40 days. Congratulations!
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