New research conducted by ExploreLearning found that elementary students using both
Frax and Reflex—adaptive, game-based programs that help students build mastery of fractions and math facts, respectively—made significantly larger academic gains in math compared to non-users.
The study examined 1,556 grade 3 and 4 students in a large suburban Florida school district who completed a baseline assessment (Fall 2021) and a follow-up assessment (Spring 2022) using i-Ready Diagnostics. Researchers used the change in students’ i-Ready Diagnostic math assessments from fall to spring to measure the impact of Frax and Reflex usage on student achievement.
Key findings: Reflex and Frax users outperform non-users, even among at-risk learners
The study used the i-Ready math scale scores and growth goals to provide the best test of the impact of Frax and Reflex on students’ overall ability to perform grade-level mathematics. i-Ready places students into three achievement levels based on scale scores: on-grade level or above, one grade level below, or two or more grade levels below. Fall placements into these i-Ready levels were used to create equivalent baseline groups to compare Frax and Reflex users to non-users. After analysis, researchers found:
Across all three achievement levels, students who used Frax and Reflex had larger score gains compared to non-users.
Across all students, compared to non-users, Frax and Reflex users were:
1.6x more likely to meet or exceed typical i-Ready growth goals
2x more likely to meet or exceed aspirational i-Ready stretch growth goals
The most academically at-risk students saw the greatest gains. Compared to non-users in the same baseline placement level, Frax and Reflex users who scored two or more grade levels below in the fall had 56% greater scale score gains and were nearly three times as likely to reach their stretch growth goals.
Extensive research and virtually all math standards identify
fractions and math fact automaticity as crucial to long-term success, as proficiency in these areas strongly predicts downstream mathematics achievement. Unfortunately, persistently large numbers of students fail to develop these skills, hindering their progress in learning more advanced material that depends on these foundations. These deficits compound over time, leading students to struggle in middle school, then algebra, and ultimately to conclude they aren’t cut out to pursue careers in STEM or other quantitative fields. The large and well-documented achievement declines due to COVID have only made the need to focus on these foundational skills more urgent.
Because of the high stakes for students and their communities, ExploreLearning has spent the last fifteen years developing and honing specialized systems designed to help every student develop math fact automaticity (Reflex) and proficiency with fractions (Frax). Effective, easy to implement, and loved by students (and teachers!), these programs make the perfect complement to any classroom. Our results show that when given the right tools, all students can achieve mastery of these pivotal math skills-unblocking their pathways to ongoing success and opportunity.
Help students 3-5 build deep conceptual fractions understanding.