Melissa Vaughn, a 4th grade teacher in Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma was first introduced to ExploreLearning Reflex through a previous teaching position. “I love the engaging games and that everyday students have a way to feel successful, no matter what their rate of growth.”
After changing jobs, and moving to her current school district, she knew she needed to secure Reflex for her students. “When I moved to my current district, I boldly requested them to purchase Reflex as I had seen what it can do for students. Since COVID, I had noticed a significant gap in foundations of math including an understanding of basic facts.”
Mrs. Vaughn says: Not one student in our entire building that started the program was fluent and now we have seen rapid growth.” To celebrate their progress, Mrs. Vaughn says she is “continually working with administration to find ways to celebrate Reflex successes. For my class specifically, I have a class meter that my students get to color in to show our whole class percentage of fluency growth. I also have an individual meter on everyone's desk so they can track their own personal percentage of fluency growth. They are so excited to see how close they are to 100% fluency.”
And for Mrs. Vaughn's class, that excitement is everything! “So many of my students have mentioned something they saw on Reflex in other areas of math and get excited that they know it because of Reflex. The first thing I hear from them is "I love this game!" or "I got my green light, Mrs. Vaughn!" and it's always with such excitement.”
Teachers cannot deny the fact that growth is happening and it's working.
Mrs. Vaughn’s students also enjoy customizing their Reflex experience, and watching themselves progress with their Reflex trees. “I also love the growing tree aspect and students visually getting to see it grow. They love to go see where they were when they planted their seed and where it's at now. The store and avatar is also another aspect that I enjoy because students get to tailor the program to fit themselves and see themselves represented.”
Her students’ enthusiasm for math carried over when she tried using ExploreLearning Frax alongside Reflex to help with conceptual fractions knowledge. “We recently started using Frax and they are so enthralled with it that they get upset when they can only do one mission a day. I love that students get a chance to work with fractions before we teach that concept in the whole group setting. I can't wait to see how they connect their learning when we do get to fractions.”
In her classroom, she uses Reflex daily. “My students start their day with Reflex and get their green light daily in class. They are allowed to do it any time they get finished with class work as well. I have students asking to get back on it, as well as students who are willing to do it over the weekend at home.”
Aside from the engagement and excitement that Reflex brings to her classroom, Mrs. Vaughn relies heavily on the reporting features. “Data! Data! Data! I show students their pie graphs and they are shocked to see their growth and get excited to make it change colors. I also use all the data provided at parent teacher conferences to show parents the impact Reflex Math and making on their students. I also see that as we have been working on multi-digit multiplication, students are not struggling with the basic facts like we have seen in the past so I know that is also showing it's working. The fact that Reflex is also a research based RTI program has helped new teachers in our building provide intentional math interventions to students in need.”
Mrs. Vaughn adds “Teachers cannot deny the fact that growth is happening and it's working. I've tried to encourage every teacher in my building (2-5) that this program can make teaching math easier if they just use it. I also firmly believe that students get excited about things their teacher is excited about and that also makes all the difference.”
Melissa Vaughn teaches for Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma. She has been teaching for 14 years. She recently told her students about earning a special shirt when they reach 100% [math fact fluency] and they were so pumped. They are excited to see their growth and it just warms her heart as a teacher that she has such an amazing tool to help them add to their math journey.