Rocket Math now has added an Online Tutor to its tried-and-true Worksheet Program. Customers ask, “Which should I use? Should I use both?”

Dr. Don’s answer is “Yes, I do recommend using both. As that opinion may appear self-serving, here’s why.”

## 1) Online Tutor is an easier route to math fact fluency.

## 2) The Online Tutor is easier for teachers to implement.

## 3) The Online Tutor provides consistent quality of practice.

The Worksheet Program is dependent upon the quality of practice in each classroom. Quality of practice is dependent upon the skill of the teacher in teaching routines and getting compliance from the students in following procedures. Therefore, the quality of learning varies, whereas with the Online Tutor the quality of practice is consistent. I have had teachers report that they are seeing, in daily lessons, better fluency in facts than they saw previously with the Worksheet Program. The teachers who say that, are telling me they did not get students to practice well in their classroom. With less skilled teachers the Online Tutor is definitely better. The only variable with the Online Tutor is whether teachers give students the time to practice and if they can effectively assign homework. Both of those are issues with the Worksheet Program as well.

## 4) The Online Tutor checks every single fact for speed of response.

The Worksheet Program bases individual goals upon writing speed, so we are basically demanding that students write answers to math facts as fast as they can. That’s a high bar and requires a lot of practice. The bar is not as high with the Online Tutor–as everyone has the same 3 second expectation for a one digit answer, and 4 seconds for a two digit answer. If students are using a touch screen and are 8 years old, that’s not as demanding as it could be. That’s why they go through the levels faster. However, every single fact is checked for time, which we can’t do with the Worksheet Program. Because the Online Tutor checks the speed of response to every single fact, it’s more rigorous that way.

## 5) The Online Tutor is easier for parents to support.

**(Rocket Math works well on parents’ phones!)**, and once the student logs in, the computer does the correcting and rewarding. The Online Tutor is easier for parents to support and gets a foot in the door. Once they see their child’s success and enthusiasm, parents are more willing to do the Worksheet Program. Which will provide more and better learning.

## 6) Worksheet Program has higher demands for math fact fluency.

**This is a reason not to do the Online Tutor only**. Of course, students are even stronger in their facts when they practice with both.

## 7) Saying the facts aloud in the Worksheet Program develops an important learning channel.

## 8) Writing the facts daily in the Worksheet Program will generalize to written computation more readily.

Math work is written, so the Worksheet Program (which is also written) is closer to how math facts will be used. Each day students get into the habit of doing math as quickly as they can. They develop the expectation that they should do math quickly. That means this program will generalize better to computation assignments. It will take longer to pass a Learning Track, but when they are done, you will see a bigger benefit to students doing math assignments when they finish the Worksheet Program than with the Online Tutor. Which is yet another reason to do both programs.

## 9) The Worksheet Program provides computation practice to maintain fluency.

After students learn the facts, the most important thing is to provide students with practice using the facts in computation. Many of today’s math programs have very little to no computation practice built into the program. The Rocket Math Worksheet Program has learning tracks that provide short 3-minute daily practice assignments in computation. The Learning Computation tracks have assessment so students can be placed at the right level and can gradually improve their computation skills as well as cement in those math facts so they can maintain fluency.