We want your students to have fun during math.
At Rocket Math we believe that students should enjoy math. And we know that what students enjoy is going fast! They enjoy being able to slam through a page of math facts or even a page of computation quickly and easily. We know that students are motivated by a sense of accomplishment and a sense of competence. They love getting “good” at math.
Practicing math facts until they are fully memorized is NOT a quick fix. It takes time and dedication on the part of the teacher and the student. But done right, within a matter of weeks both parties begin to see a difference. Students say things like, “I can do this!” or “I’m good at math!” when they see themselves succeeding and working through the multi-month process of learning all the facts in an operation.
As one of our teacher friends said, “I always start my math class with facts practice now, because it gives my students a sense of accomplishment, of success right off the bat.” Let’s face it, practicing math facts, even with a partner, is not intrinsically interesting. It is true, that if it is not done right, students will not make progress. But if it is done the right way, students learn, get good, pass small milestones and can begin to see progress. Seeing progress gives students a sense of accomplishment and they love it.
Too many educators suggest that the way to get students to enjoy math is to avoid dull topics like math facts or computation. Instead they want to immediately dive into complex, real-world, authentic, head-scratching-type problems that take even a committee hours to figure out. For most students that is not enjoyable. It is painful. And those students tend to avoid math or say they aren’t any good at it.
Done the right way, students can learn and become proficient with math facts and computation. I know it seems counter-intuitive that developing skill and fluency with basic math facts and computation would help students come to enjoy math more. But maybe you ought to consider it, because for decades we’ve been doing the opposite. The results show that very few American-educated students major in math in college. Maybe if we helped them feel like they were “good” at the beginning levels of math they might stick with it. Just sayin’