Using Digital Tools to Help Students with ADHD

I have always felt strongly that I am here to teach all the students I have, not the students I want. I feel I constantly hear, “if only we had kids that….” This statement has always rubbed me the wrong way. Yes it is a struggle to engage some students, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage those students. That is what made me so excited about this week’s activity in CEP 812. All year, I struggled with how to engage and help focus my students who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As I was reading the research and looking for a tool to help support my students, one of my colleagues suggested Reflex Math. It does cost money, but my colleague has an account and let me use her account to explore. The more I explore and played on the site as a student, the more I realized how perfect this would be for students with ADHD.

Reflex Math is a website that help increases the mathematical fluency of students through a game based platform. As a middle/high school teacher (my building is 7-12 and I have taught both 8th grade & 9th grade), I have found one of my biggest issues is the mathematical fluency of my students with ADHD. Many times this disorder has caused there to be gaps in their mathematical knowledge. This is because many time students with ADHD are in general education classrooms with “teachers who may be unaccustomed to making modifications in their curriculum” (Reeve, 1990). I know I have felt this way many times. As I (and my students previous teachers) have not found ways to make modifications for them, the gaps in their mathematical knowledge have grown larger.

I see Reflex Math as a way to help fill those gaps in mathematical knowledge. In Reflex Math, the teacher is able to set up an account and monitor the student’s’ progress. Students mainly work on addition/subtraction or multiplication/division facts. This allows students to increase their fluency and feel more confident when it comes to using those facts to solve algebraic problems. What makes Reflex so wonderful for students with ADHD is it offers immediate feedback to students on how they are doing, as well as, playing a game. According to Yehle & Wambold (1998), having immediate feedback is one way to keep students with ADHD engaged through technology. This system is well beyond just basic flashcards. It is set up for students to play games and solve puzzles while completing the math facts.

To help further explain how Reflex can be used and works in a classroom, I have created a screencast.

References

Reeve, R. (1990). ADHD: Facts and Fallacies. Intervention in School and Clinic, 70-78.

Yehle, A., & Wambold, C. (1998). An ADHD Success Story: Strategies for Teachers and Students. Teaching Exceptional Children, 30(6), 8-13.

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