Digital Math Tools

Dreambox and Reflex are two math tools in use in APS. This page will help you learn more about what they are and are not used for.

Video Resources

What’s the worst thing you can do to help your child?

“Telling too Soon” by Daniel Schwartz

A brief video about helping students in a way that builds mathematical reasoning and develops productive struggle.

Dan Meyer “Math Reasoning”

Dreambox vs. Reflex

DreamBox Reflex
What is it? DreamBox Learning is a digital based mathematics program for grades K-8 students. For students, DreamBox Learning:

  • Adapts to provide students with lessons that they need when they need them;
  • Provides Virginia standards based lessons that challenges students to think critically
Reflex is an adaptive and individualized program that helps students develop fluency once they understand the concepts behind the operations. Reflex operates on the following structure:

  • Quick check with fluency
  • Coaching with Coach Penny
  • Games for practice
  • Reports for students to see progress

Lastly, Reflex, due to its time component, may not be a good fit for all of our Explorers.  In this case, the teacher will develop an alternative plan for a student’s fluency work.

Audience & Rationale At Discovery, K-5 students will engage in DreamBox throughout the year. Teachers can target lessons based on VA State Standards of Learning. Per APS, the Reflex program is available to all students in Grades 2-5.

  • Grade 2 students will work in addition and subtraction
  • Grade 3 students will begin in addition and subtraction and move to multiplication and division once instruction in the conceptual understanding is taught (unless there is an identified need to work within addition/subtraction)
  • Grade 4 and Grade 5 students will work in multiplication and division (unless there is an identified need to work within addition and subtraction)

Reflex is also available to students in Grade 1 in Spring (Quarter 4) only after formal instruction and when students are prepared to solidify their understanding of addition and subtraction facts.

  1. Provides Standards based data that tracks student growth and proficiency;
  2. Is customizable to so that teachers may assign focus lessons based upon need; and
  3. Provides teachers with insights as to how their students learn.
The goal of Reflex is to aid students in developing their fluency once they understand the concepts behind the operations.Please note: When students have demonstrated mastery of the operation (add and subtract, multiply and divide), Reflex program is no longer needed and its use will be discontinued.
Parent Support DreamBox lessons are personalized to your child based on their strategies and understandings. Tips to support your child at home during DreamBox lessons:

  1. Let your child work as independently as possible, so that DreamBox can adjust to their mathematical understanding
  2. Listen to the audio program feedback and have your child try again
  3. Use the Help/Hint button, shown here: Dreambox Help Button
  4. Encourage risk taking:
    1. What do you already know?
    2. What do you think you could do next?
    3. What happens when you try that?
Encourage students to work to the green light (see below) in one sitting. Students should engage in REFLEX (i.e. achieve a green light) 4 times/week.Green light indicator:Reflex Green Light
Student Expectations Students will engage in DreamBox on asynchronous Mondays and during portions of independent work in Math Workshop at the teacher’s discretion. The expectations for students are the following:

  1. Try every problem; persist even when it is hard.
  2. Finish every lesson; persevere instead of choosing another lesson.
  3. Utilize in-lesson support; the feedback hints, and help are created to assist you.
  4. Use headphones or speakers with volume on; listen to the directions, assistance, and feedback.
  5. Work independently; don’t let others do your work for you.
  6. Complete five or more lessons per week; students who complete five or more lessons experience the most learning growth.
  1. Engage in Reflex until you’ve reached the green light.
  2. Play Reflex at least 4 times per week.