Many schools are starting spring testing soon, and it wreaks havoc with the daily schedule. People outside education don’t really understand how much school schedules are disrupted by attempting to test everyone in the school on the available computers. Not to mention catching all the students who are absent during their assigned time. Disrupted schedules create small gaps in the schedule, which are hard to fill, even more so when not every student is present. Let me present an option to fill those small gaps–do Rocket Math! Here’s five reasons why you should.
1) By this time of the year, students know the Rocket Math routine, so it should not take more than ten to fifteen minutes to run, start to finish. So Rocket Math can fill small gaps.
2) Even if Rocket Math has been done once during the day, a second or even third session during the day will NOT harm students, it will actually help them progress faster. (As long as you have at least a half hour between sessions).
3) It is beneficial for the students in the room even when some students are out doing make-up testing. It won’t require you to re-teach a lesson.
4) In contrast to free reading or make work activities, which only fill time, students doing Rocket Math will be learning critical skills that are necessary for future success.
5) In contrast to the stress of the accountability tests, Rocket Math is something students know well and have success at. They know what they are doing and they see their growth. They know they are learning. This is a powerful antidote to the not-so-straightforward tasks, questions and expectations of the accountability tests.
I highly recommend keeping Rocket Math folders handy for filling those small gaps in the daily schedule caused by testing.