Struggling sixth graders--what to use?
Struggling sixth graders usually need help with multiplication times tables, but which ones?

Struggling sixth graders--what to use?

Sara writes:
I have used Rocket Math with 4th graders for the entire school year with great success. Now I will be using it with struggling 6th graders. Where do you recommend I begin with them? Multiplication? I have only purchased the addition-division set, so do you also recommend I purchase the extended 11's and 12's for both multiplication and division? Thanks!
Dr. Don answers:
Thanks for asking!  Sixth graders who are struggling will need to start with Multiplication, however some might know some of the facts.  After you do the Writing Speed tests you can set goals for the daily One-Minute timing, but also for the 15-second probes.  Once you have those goals, you can use the "Placement Probe" for multiplication.  Read about these tests and how to use them in Rocket Math FAQs Pages L and M  
    Most sixth graders who are struggling with math don't have basic facts to fluency, so they will probably only need the basic subscription.  However, if your class is mixed you may have some students who don't need the basics (1s through 9s facts) and then they could review and move ahead by doing the 10s, 11s, and 12s in Multiplication.
The cool thing about Rocket Math programs is ...

Customer feedback / question of the week
 Are marathon practice sessions a good idea?

Melinda writes:
Good afternoon!  First, I want to say that we use Rocket Math at our school and the kids absolutely LOVE it!! They are so motivated to do Rocket Math each and every day!

I am seeking help on how to address teachers not doing Rocket Math consistently each day, but then having a "marathon" and completing several levels, up to 5, at once. I personally do not see the benefit in doing so, as the facts are not learned to where the students can effectively or efficiently recall them to apply them. I just wanted your opinion(s) and some expert advice on addressing this situation.
I appreciate your time and look forward to your response.

Dr. Don answers:
That could be a very tough problem to solve. You are right that it is much better to do daily sessions because of the way memories are consolidated overnight. We also know from decades of research on learning that spaced practice (across days) is far more powerful and effective than massed practice in terms of long term learning. In other words, the same amount of time devoted to Rocket Math practice spread out over the week would ensure much better learning of facts than doing five sessions all in one day. Even more detrimental is the lack of practice for several days, which allows a lot more forgetting, making it harder for students to succeed the next time they practice.  Not to mention the fact, that students get really tired practicing during a long session rather than a 2 to 3 minute sprint.

So getting in daily practice sessions is an important issue. I imagine that one quick discussion of this fact in a faculty meeting could ensure that everyone knows daily practice is better. I am also 100% certain that teachers are not doing these marathon sessions because they think they are better, but because they are trying to make up for not doing Rocket Math for the previous five days.

What I learned as an administrator is that exhorting teachers to do the right thing is ineffective, especially when you know they are doing it wrong because they can't seem to do it the right way. You have to find out what are the impediments to doing daily Rocket Math practice. You could anonymously poll your staff to find out, but I'll wager it's one of two problems, or both of them.
Not an example of having smooth routines for doing Rocket Math. 
Back in 1998 I published the first math facts practice worksheets.  This video is of students practicing that old program.  The kids are great but there needs to be a lot more organization of this process.  Smoother and well thought out routines would make this more efficient and effective!  Even so, the kids still love it and see the value!
What's new with Rocket Math?

We have some new items: Whole School Universal subscriptions.  We re-named some of our items.  We created more discounts for customers who purchased "lifetime licenses" prior to the subscription model.  We think you'll be very happy accessing the Rocket Math program through our "filing cabinet on the web," so we are really offering DEEP discounts.  
Permanently reduced to $29

Workshop Training DVD #2004
Three hours of Dr. Don's quality training for this low price.

We trust you and rely on your honor.  If you previously purchased a lifetime license (or your school did), use this coupon code to access a Rocket Math Basic subscription for only $4 for the year.     

Lifetime License holders take $25

off either subscription (#2000 or #2001 ) 
Type in coupon code "IhaveaLifetimeLicense" 
Offer Expires 12/24/2015. On-line only, coupon code must be entered: only valid for the items listed above; 1 coupon allowed per  customer
.  Includes Whole School Licenses.  
Thank you for your interest in Rocket Math.  I created Rocket Math so we can help your 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
Dr. Don
R&D Instructional Solutions
(the home of Rocket Math)
phone (888) 488-4854
Rocket Math 
Addition App
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and for a 50% discount in Apple's Volume Purchase Plan for Education.
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and   A+ 
from the rigorous Balefire Labs is 
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Rocket Math
Multiplication App
Available in the
and for a 50% discount in Apple's Volume Purchase Plan for Education.