For starters, “Park Ridge students LOVE and I mean LOVE Reflex,” she says. Students in grades 2-5 are using Reflex regularly, and she has created a bulletin board to record and celebrate the students’ accomplishments. The board is quite complex, and takes her about five hours every Monday to update it.
Once a student’s name is on the board, “they will always see their name on the board. Students are first placed up in the section for 10-24% and then move to the next section of 25-74% when they achieve that goal. This continues with 75-99 and finally they reach 100%.” There is also a bar graph on the board where she plots out “the fluency growth of each teacher’s class, which has led to some healthy competitions” between classes.
Teachers use the board as a goal setting board. “Classes take trips throughout the week to come by my office to check out the board” and see their progress. Kids love watching themselves move from percentage to percentage, as well as seeing their name up on the milestones section. “Even after students reach 100%, they continue to celebrate the facts answered on the board. “As each child increases their number of fluent facts, they move up into the different areas as well…2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 7500, 10,000, etc. Eventually the lower thousands will be gone from the board as all the kids build in fluent facts solved. Then our board will change to numbers in the tens of thousands, until eventually all the kids will be at 100% fluent with their math facts.”
Turner reports that recently a student came to talk to her. He had been watching the Reflex board, and he couldn’t wait to see if his name would make it on when she updated it after school. They looked and found out that “he was three percentage points away from having his name on the board.” He wanted to get on Reflex after school, but confessed that his grandmother, who he lived with, “couldn’t afford a computer. He suggested I write a letter to his grandmother telling her he needed to stay after school on Monday so I could help him. Inspired by his quest for success, I wrote that letter. Monday afternoon, after everyone had called it a day, there we stood singing and doing a success dance as his fluency score rose, not just three points, but those three percentage points plus forty-four more!”
Everyone is doing all they can to help all the students learn at Park Ridge. To encourage a group of students that have answered 5,000 facts to go even higher, she has promised to dye her hair green when they reach 10,000 facts. Their school goal is to reach one million facts answered by December 14th, and they are almost at 800,000 facts answered now. “If the kids reach that goal, the principal will throw the biggest holiday party ever. He will serve hot chocolate and marshmellows, the kids will watch a holiday movie, and he will have a super special icy snowy surprise.”