Eldrid Sequeira is the Director of Mathematics Instruction at Public Prep Network. He joined Public Prep in 2017 and is responsible for the overall math instructional strategy and management for all Public Prep Academies.
Reflex Math At Public Prep
What’s as fast as a Ninja but wears purple? – A Public Prep scholar with math fact fluency.
Little Ninja avatars jump across a screen as students navigate their way through various online game sequences. After 15 mins they must stop and get back to their math, they can play the rest at home, but their teacher warns them not to stay up too late playing the game. It’s undeniable that students should have conceptual understanding of math facts, but to do so for basic math facts each and every time is inefficient for students’ working memory as well as for how time is spent in class. Public Prep addresses this challenge, using Reflex Math - a game-based educational software. Reflex Math frees up student working memory because it is a platform on which student can develop math fact fluency. This software saves our teachers instructional time because students can get in extra math practice at home in a fun and engaging way!
After a few months, and more importantly after only a couple in-class sessions, students at Public Prep Academies were using the program extensively out-of-school hours while building their math fact fluency exponentially. This frees up in-class time to focus on mathematical discourse and building conceptual understanding. Public Prep Network has also organized two contests this year: Fact Family Feud - a 2 week contest over the Christmas break and Reflex March Madness - a month long contest in Feb-March that each saw massive spikes in network-wide usage and in fact family fluency. Below is a snapshot showing the growth in fact family fluency of one of our students in Grade 3 from November to March (green circles in the math fact family pyramid below indicate fluent facts).
But fact fluency as a time-saver is only where this initiative begins to show promise. The push to use Reflex out-of-school hours is giving us data and insight into student perseverance and conscientiousness to pursue non-mandated rigorous math content, key skills for college readiness and completion – Public Preps mission. Only time will tell us the impact of this program on long-term qualitative skills, but meanwhile our Reflex Ninja’s continue to color their Math Fact Family Pyramids green.