Tuesday, February 23, 2016
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How do students correct in Skip Counting?

Saying the whole sequence is important.

Principal Luebke writes:
             Dr. Don,   We have some fast Rocket Math students at our school. We want them to keep working and improving all the time. I want some students to start the skip counting function. What is the correction procedure while practicing? Do the checkers say the next number is ___, start over? Thank you.

Dr. Don answers:
          Great question! There should have been some special directions in the Skip Counting Drawer for teachers. I fixed that this morning. Here's what I posted there. 

How Students Should Practice SKIP COUNTING

                     Students should practice by saying the skip counting series in order from memory. They learn the harder series in parts, so they only have to say the part they are learning at that point. For example, in Set G students are to learn the first four numbers of the count by 9s which are 9, 18, 27, 36. When practicing in Set G, the checker says: "Count by 9s to 36." [That's exactly what it says on the little cloud at the base of the rocket, making it easy for the checker!] The student then says, "Nine, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty-six." Of course, in Set H the student says the 9s to 63, and then in Set I all the way to 81.

CORRECTION: Each time an error or hesitation is made, the helper/checker should follow the following correction procedure. It is really important to do this correction procedure. The correction procedure is part of that "secret important stuff" that makes Rocket Math work.
               1. Helper states the whole series up to that number, for example: "Nine, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty six." (If the student has said the right answer but hesitated somewhere in the middle, the helper can confirm it by saying, "Yes, that was right, but you hesitated, so let's practice that some more. Nine, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty-six."

                2. After the helper says the series once, the helper and the student should say the series together twice. "Say it with me: Nine, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty-six. And again, nine, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty-six." Then have the student repeat the skip counting series three times.

               3. Go back and do the previous series [just one, not three!], which is enough so this series comes up again before the student forgets it. (Rinse and repeat as necessary.)
Proud Student featured on Twitter

Jennifer Dean @Miss_Dean  An enthusiastic 2nd grade teacher in Galena, IL. posted this picture of a proud student in her class who just finished all of Addition in Rocket Math.

I sent her a complimentary Universal subscription to thank her for her support of Rocket Math and update her from the old 1998 version she was using.  
Send me your photos!  
Subscription version of Rocket Math Apps begin expiring this month and are no longer available.  Instead, purchase permanent replacements from iTunes.  See the links below.  
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HOME versions of Rocket Math Apps became available this week.  
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Works the same at the school versions, but with a $2.99 in-app purchase to continue past Level K.
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Video Clip of the Week
Things you should do to ensure that your students don't get stuck in Rocket Math.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Question of the week
Can students with special needs learn math facts?

A teacher asks:
We have purchased and are implementing your program at my school and LOVE it! Our staff wondered what tips/techniques you suggest for implementing the program to students with special needs?

Dr. Don answers:
Rocket Math was designed to be effective as it is with special needs students-but only if it is done according to the directions. I have seen it used successfully in many special education classrooms, including my own and in my practicum student's classrooms. All the details of how it should be used are especially critical for special needs students. Some of the aspects are especially important.   Here are 7 things that will really help students with special needs succeed in Rocket Math. 
  1. One key with students with special needs is to monitor their writing speed carefully. One should be sure to give the writing speed test and make sure that they follow the time limits. It's not unusual for these students to try to squeeze in a few more responses on timings after time is up, because they are used to not being able to perform as expected. Of course, if a student with special needs does that on the Writing Speed Test their goals would end up being impossible to meet. So be careful there. This may involve consultation between the special education and general education teachers so that goals don't get too high causing lack of success.
  2. Writing speed is an issue for many students with special needs, and they often have great variation in how well they can perform from day to day. I would recommend caution about moving "up" the goals for these students. Perhaps you could wait until they have beaten their previous goal two or three days in a row, before raising the goal. You just want to be sure they can consistently write that quickly.
  3. It is important not to give lower goals to students with special needs because....
Click here to read the rest of Dr. Don's blog post
Hidden gem of the week
(Something you may never have noticed)


I made this practice page available on the website under  Free Resources and Downloads.  

It is near the end of the Rocket Writing for Numerals program.  At this point students should be able to write 40 digits in a minute and write them small enough for 20 digits to fit on a line. If you have students who are almost ready for Rocket Math, practicing this page might be enough for them.  Try this first, and then if they find it too difficult, even after a couple of days of practice, you know they really do need Rocket Writing for Numerals.  
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
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