Get a free 30-day trial of our Online Game

Here’s information (that may not be apparent) about the next step–after registering for a free account for the Rocket Math Online Game.  The next step is to to try out the game with some students by signing up for our No risk 30 day trial. 

Your credit card will not be charged until the end of your 30 day trial, so if you cancel before then you do not pay a thingYou can order from the “My Profile” page of your account with a credit card to order subscriptions. It looks like this picture. 

No gotcha here–See how the auto-renew is turned off by default?  

Leave the renewal period set to monthly, and leave auto renew set to OFF in your profile.

Your subscription will simply end after 30 days.

No matter how many subscriptions you order, your credit card won’t be charged until you login and renew.  So you can try the game for free to see if it’s worth paying for with no risk of being charged for it.

Non-credit card options

If you wish to buy subscriptions by sending in a Purchase Order here’s a link to our order form. Or, if you wish to order online with either PayPal or a PO number click this link to get to that page

Either in PayPal or with a PO we will give you 13 months, and if you tell us you don’t want it during the first month, we’ll cancel your subscription and cancel the invoice. With PayPal we’ll give you a full refund if you don’t want to keep it.    

If you ask, I can also manually give you a 30 day free trial–without you having to enter a payment method.  Then we can send an invoice if you wish to continue.  Just contact [email protected], with the number of subscriptions you would like to use during your free trial. 

Fact Families (+ & -) for 1st and 2nd grade

Learn Fact Families to fluency with Rocket Math!

Fact Families Part Two  11 to 18 (add & subtract).  A fact family includes both addition and subtraction facts. This program is Part 2 of Fact Families, coming after Fact Families 1 to 10. You can see to the left the 18 examples of fact families taught in this program starting with Set A; 11-2, 11-9, 9+2, & 2+9.  The sheet shows the sequence of learning facts in the new Rocket Math  program Fact Families Part Two 11 to 18 (+, -).  Each set that students learn from A to R adds just one fact family to be learned, so it isn’t too hard to remember.  (That’s the Rocket Math secret ingredient!) 

Learning math facts in families, is gaining in popularity these days.  Logic suggests that this would be an easier way to learn.  However, the research is not definitive that this is easier or a faster way to learn facts than separating the operations and learning all addition facts first and then learning all subtraction facts.  But learning in fact families is a viable option, and I wanted to have it available for Rocket Math customers.

Part Two is a Best fit for second grade.  These facts come after the facts in 1 to 10, typically learned in first grade, so these are best for second grade.  The 25 fact families in 1s through 10s facts are just enough for one Rocket Math program.  It is a good and sufficient accomplishment for first grade.  With the 11 to 18 in Par Two for second grade there will be a lot of review.  In fact sets S through Z are all review. I have heard that some first grades prefer to keep the numbers small but to learn both addition and subtraction–so this program accomplishes that.

I added Fact Families Part Two 11 to 18 (+, -) to the Universal subscription in August of 2018 bringing the total number of programs in the Universal subscription to 19 (the basic four operations and 15 more!).  As always, new programs are added to the Universal subscription without additional cost as soon as they are available.

I most sincerely want students to be successful and to enjoy (as much as possible) the necessary chore of learning math facts to automaticity. Please give me feedback when you use this new program, Fact Families 11 to 18 (+, -),  as to how it goes for the students.

Learning to Add Integers

Four Problem Types to Learn

Learning to Add Integers displays problems on a vertical number line and then teaches students two rules about how to solve problems that add positive and negative numbers.
Rule 1:  When you add a positive number, go UP.
Rule 2:  When you add a negative number, go DOWN.

Click to see online lesson.  Doing problems on the vertical number line is more intuitively appealing because UP is more and DOWN is always less.  This makes crossing zero a little easier to comprehend.

Students learn how these two rules play out with two types of problems: when starting with a positive number and when starting with a negative number. Students gradually learn all four types of problems.  On each worksheet they see how to solve each problem type using the number line working with their partner.  Then students learn to recognize the pattern of each problem type by orally answering several examples of each type with their partner (going around the outside of the page).  You will probably not be surprised that there is a one-minute test on each set.   Students are to be 100% accurate and to meet or beat their goal from the special writing speed test for Learning to Add integers (the fastest goal is only 28 problems in a minute).

Students can watch 4 online lessons which teach how each type of problem is solved and why it is correct.

(1) Add Integers Set A Positive add a positive

(2) Add Integers Set B Positive add a negative

(3) Add Integers Set G Negative add a negative

(4) Add Integers Set L Negative add a positive

How to prepare students for math success–30 minute webinar

You may be interested in a webinar Dr. Don did recently with the folks at the Educational App Store in the U.K.  We discussed what is needed for children to have success in math–learning math facts to automaticity.  We also talked about how best to help children learn facts and therefore what is needed in an app to achieve that learning.


Dr. Don Crawford, the author of Rocket Math and Justin Smith, CEO of the Educational App Store discuss

  1. What are math facts and why are they important for future math success.
  2. What happens when students haven’t memorized math facts.
  3. How can you best help students learn math facts.

What if teachers won’t do Rocket Math?

Don’t argue, just prove it works! 

Joyce asks: 

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.

Webinar with Dr. Don: How to Prepare students for math success.

On Thursday May 3rd, the Educational App Store is hosting a seminar with Dr. Don, “How to prepare students for math success.”   Pacific time will be 8:30 AM, Eastern time 12:30 PM and London time will be 4:30 PM .

This 30-minute webinar focuses on the importance for future math success of developing fluency and automaticity with math facts and how to help students achieve it.

Dr. Don Crawford, the author of Rocket Math and Justin Smith, CEO of the Educational App Store will discuss

  1. What are math facts and why are they important for future math success.
  2. What happens when students haven’t memorized math facts.
  3. How can you best help students learn math facts.

Here is the link to register for the webinar.

Intervention Tip: Have students practice test

Sometimes students need to review test problems also.

You know that there is a difference between the test problems and the practice problems, right?  The problems practiced around the outside are the recently introduced facts.  The problems inside the test box are an even mix of all the problems taught so far.  Sometimes students have forgotten some of the older facts.  For example, if there has been a break for a week or more, or if the student has been stuck for a couple of weeks, the student may have forgotten some of the facts from earlier and may need a review of the test problems.

How you could diagnose for this problem.  Have the student practice orally on the test problems inside the box with you.  If the student hesitates on several of the problems that aren’t on the outside practice, then the student needs to review the test items.

Solution. If you have this problem with quite a few students (for example after summer break or after Christmas break) then have the whole class do this solution.  For the next week, after practicing around the outside, instead of taking the 1 minute test in writing, have students practice the test problems orally with each other.  Use the same procedures as during the practice—two or three minutes with answer keys for the test, saying the problem and the answer aloud, correction procedures for hesitations, correct by saying the problem and answer three times, then going back—then switch roles.   Do this for a week and then give the one-minute test.   Just about everyone should pass at that point.

Solution.  If you have this problem with a handful of students, find a time during the day for them to practice the test problems orally in pairs.  If the practice occurs before doing Rocket Math so much the better, but it will work if done after as well.  They should keep doing this until they pass a couple of levels within six days.

If neither the first or the second solutions seem to work, write to me again and I’ll give you some more ideas.

Why give the Two-Minute timings in Rocket Math?

To prove whether students are making progress in learning math facts.

First of all, understand that the two-minute timings are NOT a teaching tool.  They are an assessment tool only.  Giving a two-minute timing of all the facts in an operation every week or two allows you to graph student performance.  You graph student performance to see if it is improving.  If the graph is going up, as in the picture above, then the student is learning.   If the graph is flat, then the student is not really learning.

The individual graphs should be colored in by students allowing them to savor the evidence of their learning.  The graphs should be shared with parents at conference time to prove that students are learning.  

Progress monitoring with two-minute tests are a curriculum-free method of evaluating a curriculum.  If you use the same tests you can compare two methods of learning facts to see which one causes faster growth.  This makes for a valid research study.

This kind of progress monitoring over time is also used in IEPs.  You can draw an aimline from the starting performance on the two-minute timing to the level you expect the student to achieve by the end of the year.  (Note the writing speed test gave you goals for the two-minute timing which you could use for your end-of-year goal.) The aimline on the graph, when it crosses the ending date of each quarter, will provide quarterly objectives that will enable quarterly evaluation of progress–required for an IEP.

These two minute timings are a scientifically valid method of proving whether students are learning math facts, in the same way that tests of oral reading fluency prove whether students are learning to read.  They can be used to prove to a principal or a curriculum director, for example, that Rocket Math is working and is worth the time, paper and money it requires.


Integers learning tracks are a part of Universal subscription

Using a vertical number line can help provide certainty.

Adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers can be confusing for students.  You can either start with a positive or a negative number and you can combine with a positive or a negative number.  That makes for four types or patterns of problems. Then when you consider both addition and subtraction the total is 8 problem types.  Rocket Math has three learning tracks to help students learn how to deal with integers.  Mixed Integers includes all eight types, whereas Learning to Add Integers and Learning to Subtract Integers each just deal with four types.  [Mixed Integers may be too hard for some or all of your students–meaning they can’t pass levels in 6 tries.  In that case put them through the Learning to Add Integers and Learning to Subtract Integers first.]  

Part 1: Using the vertical number line to solve integers problems

The first issue for students is just to be certain of the answer.  A vertical number line, where “up” is more and “down” is less helps provide certainty.

I have posted a series of free lessons online (links below) that use a vertical number line and a consistent procedure to take the confusion out of the process.  All eight types of problems  can be solved with the same process on the vertical number line.  Using the vertical number line there are two rules to learn.  Rule 1: When you add a positive or subtract a negative you go up on the number line.  Rule 2: When you subtract a positive or add a negative you go down on the number line.

So first thing to figure out is what you are being asked to do (add or subtract a positive or a negative) and then use the rule to tell you whether whether you’re going up or down.  Next step in the procedure is to circle the starting point on the number line.  Once you circle the starting point, you show how far you’re being asked to go.  You simply make the right number of “bumps” going either up or down from where you start.  That gives you the answer without any uncertainty.  These online lessons are quick (about 2 minutes) and identify a pattern of whether the answer is like the sum or the difference between the numbers.  Once students can recognize the pattern they can begin to answer fluently and without a struggle.

(1) Mixed Integers Set A1 Positive add a positive

(2) Mixed Integers Set A2 Positive subtract a positive

(3) Mixed Integers Set D Negative add a positive

(4) Mixed Integers Set G Negative subtract a positive

(5) Mixed Integers Set J Negative subtract a negative

(6) Mixed Integers Set M Positive subtract a negative

(7) Mixed Integers Set P Positive add a negative

(8) Mixed Integers Set S Negative add a negative



Part 2: Using the Rocket Math Integers learning track(s) to develop fluency in recognizing the type of problem

Here is a part of a page from the Mixed Integers learning track.  The paired practice part of the program helps students learn to quickly and easily recognize each pattern.   First students use the vertical number line to work a problem. In this example: -6 minus (-4).  Then they have a set of problems with the same pattern (a negative subtracting a negative) which they should be able to orally answer without having to use the number line.  Each worksheet includes all the types learned so far in the learning track.

As with all Rocket Math programs there is a 2 to 3 minute practice session (at this level I’d recommend 3 minutes), with a partner.  Then the two switch roles.  The practice is followed by a one-minute test.  If the student can answer the problems in the test fluently (essentially without hesitations) the level is passed.  As always, the students goals are individually determined by a Writing Speed Tests.  If a given level is still difficult the student stays with that level a bit longer.

When a new pattern or type of problem is first introduced the one-minute tests will have a whole row of problems that are the same pattern. When that level is passed the next test will have two types of problems in each row.  The next level has 3 types in a row, culminating in the fifth level where the problem types are mixed.  This way the student develops fluency in recognizing the type of problem and how to derive the answer quickly.  The Learning to Add Integers and Learning to Subtract Integers learning tracks take more time to learn the patterns, while Mixed Integers moves more quickly.

Don’t forget that Rocket Math has a money-back guarantee.  So if this doesn’t work for you and your students we will refund your subscription price.