I have another question. Why do you recommend practicing Rocket Math every day? Would doing it only a couple days a week be okay?
Dr. Don answers:
Thanks for asking. The importance of daily practice has to do with the nature of building memory. If you practice daily almost all students will make good progress, and pass a level every few sessions. A few minutes practice and then overnight time for the memories to sink in, and then all the students get to practice again
before they forget. If you practice just a couple of times a week then only the most able students would be able to remember and benefit from the last practice session-
the more time to forget the more students forget.
Much better to activate those memories and build those neural connections every day. The success rate of your students will go WAY down if you do it only a couple of days a week. Many students would not be able to pass and would get frustrated. That's why it is designed to be a fast activity--less than ten minutes a day (once you develop the routine). We find that the least able 10% of your students may need to practice orally twice a day to make good progress. That's why getting parents involved is such a good idea.
I wanted to share another strategy we are using at our school to increase Rocket Math motivation.
We made a visual representation of the number of stickers each class is earning each week. At the end of each week, teachers count up the number of stickers their class earned for the week. We take that number and add it to the previous weeks stickers. I move each class's rocket along the ceiling. We are having a school wide race to see which class can pass the most amount of letters for the month. During our monthly assemblies, I announce the winning class. That class gets to launch a couple of rockets outside.
This visual is in our lunch room. It goes across the ceiling. We have rockets that students colored attached to the ceiling that shows 25, 50, 75 and 100 stickers earned. Everyday they can see where they are compared to other classrooms.
Kids are excited and are motivated to work hard and pass levels in Rocket Math. On a side note, while they are working hard to do their best, they are also increasing their goals and getting smarter!
Woodburn Arthur Academy
Hidden gem of the week!
No time to explore our website? Here's a gem you might not have otherwise noticed.
If you want a great technique for managing student behavior, read the article on how to do the Teacher/Student game.
It is located at the bottom of the immensely valuable Free Resources and Downloads page under the heading Teacher Student game. You have to scroll for it. You can find it there or click on the link above.
Hint/Tip Idea: This game works with all ages if you are able to act annoyingly enough to be believable to your students. They have to want to beat you!
THIS WEEK: Why teach math facts to the level of automaticity?
This is the first 7 minutes of the training DVD where I explain the importance of learning math facts to the level of automaticity, what that is, and why this is an essential task for all elementary math programs. A must see for elementary teaching staffs.
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
phone (888) 488-4854
If your school already has a Rocket Math lifetime license, get an amazing discount to try a whole school basic subscription.