Add a bonus session for students who don’t pass quickly

In most schools there are a few children who are not making good progress with Rocket Math. They don’t pass as quickly at each level. Assuming that students are practicing the way they should with a partner (teachers should monitor this closely), and their writing goals are reasonable (sometimes they become unsustainable), you may be looking at students who need more than the usual amount of practice. Some students do need two or three times more practice than their peers. Sadly, these are often the students who do not practice at home either. So the question is how to get them the extra practice they need to keep up with the class. Luckily, Rocket Math lends itself to arranging extra practice.

A school’s first option should be a cross-graded Rocket Math “Bonus” session some time during the school day. Students can work at all grade levels and in all operations in this group. Students should all come with their folder containing all they need. Students should be assigned to the Rocket Math “Bonus” session after not passing a level within four or five practice days.

A teaching assistant or para-professional might be able to run this session, depending on their classroom management skills. It would be better to have the Title I or Special Education teacher run these sessions. This kind of remedial work will really help students.

Students would bring their Rocket Math folders from class to the “bonus” session—because their folder should include their answer key and everything they need to practice. Students do not need to be in the same grade or on the same operation to be partners because the answer keys needed are right there in the folder.

In the bonus session, students would practice with a partner for two or three minutes the same way they do in class. Then the two would switch roles. But then, instead of taking a written test, they could practice again orally but this time on the TEST for one minute and then switch roles. That way no paper is used up and no paperwork is required of the person running this session with students from several classes. The students should be done in less than 15 minutes. This extra practice if done properly and every day should help students to pass within a very few days.

Of course, students with IEPs in math should get a bonus session during the time they are with the special education teacher. And Title I students should get a bonus session with the Title I teacher. But the bonus session should be available based on need rather than labels or categories.

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