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  • Writer's pictureThe Hambrick Foundation

THF grant will help special needs students develop math fact fluency

Eureka Middle School teacher Stacey Mooney recently received a THF grant to purchase Reflex, an online math program, to improve math fact fluency for the school's special needs population.

Mooney will use grant funds to purchase Reflex to improve math fact fluency in her special needs students

"This program is a fun, interactive way for students to master their math facts," Mooney wrote in her application. "Students would use Reflex daily during math class, study hall and/or interventions. Reflex math has been shown to help students exceed their typical growth over a similar time period."


According to their website, Reflex is an adaptive and individualized system for mastering basic math facts for students in grades 2 and above. The program uses games to help students at every level gain math fact fluency and confidence. That fluency, Mooney said, serves as a foundation for more advanced math skills.


"Students who are fluent in basic arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) are better equipped to tackle more complex mathematical concepts, such as algebra, calculus and statistics," she said. "In addition, Math fact fluency frees up cognitive resources. When students don't have to spend as much mental effort on basic calculations, they can focus their attention on understanding and solving more complex math problems."

Mooney added that traditional methods throw too many facts at a student at a time, leaving them frustrated, overwhelmed and often defeated. Reflex addresses this probelem by presenting fact families one at a time. Once a fact family is mastered, another is introduced, while constantly reviewing the previously learned facts.


"Our students are all students with special needs that have struggled to learn their math facts," Mooney said. "By helping them learn their math facts, we give them the gift of greater confidence, skills and independence in their math development."


Students will use Reflex daily for around 20 minutes on school owned Chromebooks. Teachers will monitor student engagement so students will get maximum benefit from this program.


"Research has shown that students that use Reflex are 1.6 times more likely than non-users to meet or exceed typical growth goals," she said. "Giving our students a fun way to make great gains is a gift to our students that opens doors for their futures."



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