Monday, September 8, 2014

Reflex Math, a Time Test Alternative!

When I was teaching 5th grade, I found that one of the most beneficial practices I implemented was the daily 100 multiplication fact 5 minute time test.  I found that by Thanksgiving almost all my kids (with varying previous success in math) could finish the whole thing in 3 minutes without any errors.  This really made long division much easier to teach.  I know that by no means is math fact memorization where instruction should end.  Fact fluency does make the road to deeper mathematical concepts and application much smoother.  I will compare math fact fluency with reading fluency.  If we continue to sound out every word we read, meaningful literary experiences will be difficult to have.

In our district we now have access to Reflex Math.  It is a fun alternative to the time test.  It is a program, that through the guidance of a helpful crab, students can play games that allow them to more quickly recall their math facts.  They can access their account from any computer or using the new iPad app.  I look forward this year to hearing the success this fact practice can bring the students.  It will be most valuable if students have the ability to practice at school and at home.  While this may place demands on their teachers' already shrinking time, I think this is a truly worthwhile use of that time and resources.  My experience with the time test showed me just how much students could grow in math fluency with a short 10 minute daily activity.  Reflex Math is a great way for students to develop their skills using gamification!

If you'd like to get started, here's a guide on how to create your roster and how students log in.  Keep in mind, your students cannot access this tool until you have attached them to your roster.  Ask your Ed Tech for more information on how to implement this great math supplement in your classroom!  

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