Don’t argue, just prove it works!
How can we encourage the teacher who refuses rocket math and administration does not reinforce (or enforce) the program’s use?
Dr. Don’s response:
This is a great question. Frankly, one of the most annoying things I found during my time as a teacher were the constant “new” fads. I got sick and tired of being told to do things I knew would not work. I don’t blame people for being skeptical or an administration that won’t go to bat for a new curriculum. I think it is the responsible thing to do. Which is why schools should test everything for themselves, which isn’t that hard to do. Prove to yourself it works with your students in your school with your staff. Then you know it is worth doing. Only then do you have a responsibility to reinforce the program’s use, only after it is proven.
In one of the first schools to use Rocket Math we had a veteran teacher who said she did not think Rocket Math would be any better than the things she had been doing to help her students learn math facts for years. The principal wisely allowed as how that might be possible, but asked if she would be willing to test her assertion. Rocket Math has 2-minute timings of all the facts which the students take every couple of weeks. The principal asked if she would give that test to her students at the beginning and the end of the year and compare her results with that of other classes. She agreed. At the end of year the Rocket Math students were far higher in their fluency than her students, even though at the beginning of the year her students had been more fluent than the other students. At that point she said, “Well this proves it to me. I’ll be using Rocket Math next year.”
Just use those 2-minute timings as pre and post tests and see if there is anything that will beat Rocket Math. Any teacher worth their salt should want to use a curriculum that is effective and helps students learn.
I have the following standing offer on my website. If any school will conduct research comparing Rocket Math to some other method of practicing math facts and share your results–I will refund half of the purchase price of the curriculum. If a school finds some other method is more effective, I will refund 100% of your purchase price.