There are a variety of circumstances in which a student must re-do part of Rocket Math. Sometimes you may accidentally re-set them back to Set A in the Online Game. On occasion, a student’s folder may be lost in the Worksheet Program. Sometimes they move in from elsewhere claiming they already completed up to some level for which they have no evidence. You may see they are not at mastery at the level they are on and wisely decide to have them repeat the sequence over at Set A. These all call for perseverance and call for the Toughness Certificate.
Introduce the student to the Toughness Certificate
To make use of the Toughness Certificate, post it somewhere in your room. When a student has to re-do part of Rocket Math or when they complain about too many Start-Overs in the Online Game, or starts to complain about having to re-do part of a Learning Track, take them over to the certificate, point to it and introduce them to the Toughness Certificate.
Toughness Certificate pep talk
“This certificate is for people who have to do hard things. I know it is hard having to re-do Rocket Math. It takes a lot of perseverance to keep going all the way to Z. If you can do it without whining about it, then you will earn this Toughness Certificate. Not everyone can earn this, but if you can prove you’re NOT A WHINER, I will award this to you. Dr Don knows how hard this is and he and I will have signed this for you and you will have earned it! Do you think you can do this even though it is hard? Are you tough enough?”
Remind them of the certificate when they complain
Each time a student complains about having to re-do Rocket Math, remind them of the Toughness Certificate and that they can earn it, if they can hang in without complaining. If they don’t complain, also remind them of the Toughness Certificate and how they are clearly earning it by not complaining. “You are really tough. I can see you are earning a Toughness Certificate.”
When the student passes Level Z award the Toughness Certificate publicly
When students complete a Learning Track or pass Set Z in the Worksheet Program, you should make a ceremony of awarding the Toughness Certificate. Call them to the front of the room. Read the copy at the bottom aloud in front of the class. Say, “Dr. Don and I are awarding this Toughness Certificate to (insert name) for extraordinary perseverance for starting over in parts of Rocket Math without whining about it. We know it was tough, but we admire how you did it anyway.” Encourage a round of applause for the student and shake their hand as you hand it to them. You might also award a Learning Track certificates for finishing a Learning Track. You’ll make the student proud and you’ll be on your way to teaching a valuable life lesson: perseverance.