Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Click here for archived back issues 
How can you improve writing speed?


Tina asks:
         Hello Don,   Do you have any recommendations for improving writing speed? My son's school does not use Rocket Math, but we use it at home. He knows his addition facts rather quickly orally, but is stuck at a much lower level at school because he cannot write them fast enough.
Thanks, Tina

Dr. Don answers:
          Tina,    That is a very good question. Yes, you can improve writing speed. Increasing writing speed will come with practice, but a special kind of practice. The biggest problem slow writers have is that they "draw" the numerals. That is to say, they decide how to make the numerals look like they should and then draw them, rather than having a set way of doing the numbers. 
          Step 1 is for them to learn how to most efficiently write the numerals using strokes that consistently go down and from left to write. Students need to learn the right way to form the numerals and then practice it exactly the same way over and over until it becomes habit. In Step 2 the students need to practice writing the numerals small enough to fit on the line, while still forming them the right way. In Step 3 and 4 students need to practice writing the numerals until they are fluent (speedy and still form them correctly and legibly).

To move through these steps it helps to have a program to assist you in doing each of those phases. Luckily, I created just such a program....

Use Coupon Code  UPGRADE15%OFF when you order.
Offer Expires 5/31/2016. Item #2999  Upgrade  a Basic to a Universal Subscription, normal price of $20 is discounted, may be used more than once.
Video Clip of the Week

Homework and packets of six!
Homework and packets of six!

Question of the week
Dad and daughter doing homework together in a garden
Is an extra practice session in the evening helpful?

Rachel asks:
When my daughter doesn't pass during the day, should I have her work on those facts again in the evening, perhaps with Dad? 

Dr. Don answers:
Rachel,   Regarding a practice session with Dad in the evening,
it will only be beneficial if it is motivating
and that depends on how you structure it and how she perceives it. It could be punishing or it could be a motivating treat. 
                      If she has some control over whether or not to do it, but she is "allowed" if she wants, to show Dad how well she can do them (and more importantly he reciprocates by being impressed!) then by all means, "let" her do that. 
                 Also, if she doesn't pass her test after the second session, and she wants to, she could have a special bonus chance to try to pass with Dad, but that would mean practice AND a test with him. Either of those scenarios could make the extra practice session in the evening a motivating treat and that would be good. If she perceives it as no fun and extra work when she should be enjoying time with her father, then don't do it.   Click here to read Dr. Don's complete blog post
Hidden gem of the week
(Something you may never have noticed)

You can set up an exciting and challenging game center using the Race for the Stars games.  There is a special poster chart for students to record their record times, star stickers to cover each time they beat, a stop watch for their partner to time them, labels for you to put student's name up on the poster.  Click here to read or print the directions.

Barter option--you send me good pictures/video of the center set-up with students using it and I'll refund your purchase price or void your PO's invoice.  

Race for the Stars Games are sold separately.  

Thank you for your interest in Rocket Math.  I created it to help students be more successful, gain confidence and enjoy math more.  Let me know how else I can help.  Feel free to call me with any questions you have or send me an email to don@rocketmath.com
Dr. Don
Rocket Math
phone (888) 488-4854
Rocket Math
Addition App
Available in the
and for a 50% discount in Apple's Volume Purchase Plan for Education.
Click to read
the reviews for our Apps:
Rocket Math
Multiplication App
Available in the
and for a 50% discount in Apple's Volume Purchase Plan for Education.
Like us on Facebook