Preparing now can insure that students will maintain their Rocket Math learning over the summer.
(1) The simplest and most important thing you can do to get ready for summer is to save those Rocket Math folders at the end of the year. The folders can then be given to the next year’s teacher, so he or she knows where the student left off. Given special practice techniques at the start of fall (outlined below), students do NOT have to go back or start an operation all over again the next year. Some students take months to get where they are in an operation, and it is a terrible waste of their time to start them over. Especially if they have new faster writing speed goals, now they really have to work hard to master each set and it may take them quite a while.
(2) Make sure to take a few days to re-teach your students how to correct and when to correct (errors and hesitations). Teach this by modeling errors and hesitations and have students be your checker and model how to correct for the other students to see. Keep working with that student until you get perfect corrections even on hesitations. Then “rinse and repeat” with another student. Do this teaching and modeling for ten minutes each day for the first week or so.
(3) Start students practicing on the last set completed (passed) the previous year but for the first five practice sessions, practice on that set in a special way. First practice in partners around the outside for two or three minutes. But then, instead of taking a written test, have students practice in pairs orally with the test (inside the box), for two minutes. Practice the same way as around the outside. Have the student read each problem aloud and answer it from memory. The checker will need to have the test answer key. Practice for two to three minutes and then switch roles. This practice will provide the necessary review of all the facts learned so far, and will bring them right back up to speed.
(4) After a week of oral practice sessions with the test, then allow students to take the written test. Evaluate students based on their writing speed goals from last year (don’t re-test and raise them). Arrange for extra oral practice on the test for anyone who doesn’t pass. In the extra practice, make sure they orally practice the test in the center as well. Keep up the extra practice, on that same set until they pass. They should get there in a few days. They already learned this, they are just bringing it back. They haven’t forgotten it, the connection just needs a little strengthening.
(5) If students finished an operation before leaving, you can start them on the next operation appropriate for their grade. Second graders who have finished addition, for example, would start with subtraction (1s – 9s), and then go on to Subtract from 20, then Skip Counting. Third graders need to be taught the concept of multiplication first, but then should begin multiplication, regardless of what they completed earlier. Multiplication is so critical for future success in math you cannot let any child in your room (if you are in 3rd grade or above) leave it without learning those multiplication facts. Best thing you can do for their math careers.
Now that you know what to do–enjoy the summer!