Jennifer Martinez works with 27 “amazing tiny humans” (4th-grade students) at Aventura Waterways K-8 Center in the Miami-Dade School District, FL. Aventura Waterways’ student population is primarily Hispanic, with English Language Learners (ELL) making up 22% of the population.
Martinez first learned about ExploreLearning Reflex in her first year at Aventura Waterways after her grade-level chair mentioned it in a meeting. Martinez said she went back to her classroom to explore Reflex, but “It wasn’t until I watched my daughter play it a bit that I realized what an amazing program it was, and the potential it had as a resource for my students who struggled with multiplication fluency.”
Reflex works for all students
As an inclusion teacher, Martinez finds Reflex incredibly helpful for her students with disabilities. “These students can sometimes struggle to focus on assignments, but with the way that the program is developed, students are fully engaged, and they want to keep practicing.”
She continues, “I have some students on a modified curriculum, and I was able to change their assignment to just addition and subtraction so they could participate too. It is easy to use and accommodates Exceptional Student Education and ELL learners.”
“They enjoy it so much”
Seeing the excitement her students get when they get that Green Light and can unlock new games makes Martinez wish she had Reflex when she was a student.
“Once I started using Reflex, I saw some of my students get excited about getting the Green Light. When my first student reached 100% fluency, I made a huge deal about it, which inspired more of my students,” Martinez says.
“I knew Reflex had potential, but it truly surprised me what a difference it made for them to see the 100% fluency certificate with their name on it on our wall. It was such a positive experience for them. The closer they get to 100% fluency, the more they ask to use it,” she says. “They even compete with each other.”
Martinez checks Reflex reports weekly and rewards students with three or more Green Lights in the last week. She gives stickers for Green Lights and special rewards for the “Most Green Lights in a Week.”
“Shouting out their progress and recognizing their growth has encouraged them and motivated them,” Martinez says. “This makes them even more competitive. They enjoy it so much.”
Martinez also makes a big deal when her students achieve 100% fluency. “I put their certificates up and send them to the morning announcements.”
“Reflex is the most effective”
Martinez has used other programs in the past, like TenMarks and i-Ready, but feels Reflex is most effective because it is a fast-paced game, and students receive rewards quickly. She says, “I also like that we can target just the multiplication skills, which are more foundational skills that we build on throughout fourth grade.”
Martinez has no doubts about how Reflex has helped her “tiny humans.”
“When they make a comment like ‘7x7 is 49—I had that question this morning on Reflex,’ it confirms just how much of a positive impact Reflex has had on my students’ math skills.”
Jennifer Martinez went from playing school with her stuffed animals to teaching catechism at church as a teenager to 2019-2020 Rookie Teacher of the Year. She’s taught for six years after working as a substitute teacher for two. Specializing in working with students with disabilities, Martinez received a bachelor’s degree in special education from Broward College and is currently working on a master's degree from Florida International University.