Tried-and-true Rocket Math fact fluency worksheets
[A $49 value]Our Rocket Math Worksheet Program has students practice daily with a partner, take a One-Minute Test, and move up the Rocket Chart based on the ten-minutes per day pencil-and-paper activities. Teachers have been relying on this program and getting gratifying results for decades. This subscription will give you access to the Rocket Math filing cabinet and all of the hundreds of worksheets available to print from our virtual filing cabinet.
30 seats for the Online Game develops math fact fluency in a fast-paced format
[A $60 value]In 2018, Rocket Math added an Online Game for students to play on any device and learn math facts. This package will give access to up to 30 students in your classroom. The regular price for 30 students is $2 per student for the year.
In the Online Game, students login and practice and work through levels A to Z the same as in the Worksheet Program. If a student takes longer than 3 seconds to answer a fact, the program treats it as a hesitation and gives more practice on that fact. The program responds to hesitations by telling the student the problem and answer, asking them to enter the correct answer, then giving them the problem again a few seconds later.
Students can also login in at home and practice there. The Rocket Math Online Game is very intense, so learners can only work for five minutes at a time, and then the game makes them take a 30-minute break. Although the game is challenging (or maybe because it is hard), students are very motivated by seeing their progress. They can tell that they are learning and they feel good about their accomplishments.
You can monitor the development of math fact fluency in the game
The teacher can monitor progress (as you can see below). The teacher can see if students are logging on at home, see their level of difficulty, and change them to a different one of the ten learning tracks available. Easy to set up a program of recognition for students who practice at home.
Bonus: Wall Charts visually track development of math fact fluency
[An $18 value]As a bonus in this package Rocket Math will send you a Rocket Math Wall Chart.This chart comes with stickers for students to post each time they pass a level in Rocket Math. It has goal arrows, so the teacher can set goals for the class with rewards for filling up the chart to a certain point. This enables the students to work together to achieve goals and celebrate their success as a group. Also comes with directions on how to use it to best advantage.
This chart is a very motivating for students as they are developing math fact fluency and builds team spirit with your class.
Positive praise is one of the most effective ways to encourage wanted behaviors from students. Because building habits is not an easy task, here are a few things you can do to start easily incorporating positive praise in the classroom.
Be prepared with positive phrases
Develop the most effective wording
Start Small with two areas you would like to see improved behavior
Practice in the Classroom and watch the effect it has on your students
Grow and expand your positive phrases over time as you master the habit
Be Prepared with Positive Praise Phrases
I distinctly remember trying to help pre-service teachers build the teaching habit of positive praise. I would make suggestions and then observe. Trying to implement my suggestions wasn’t as easy as you would imagine – these teachers would glance in my direction and start the sentence “I like the way you’re . . .” and then trail off without knowing what to say.
Teachers want to use positivity and affirmation with their students, however, in my experience, they don’t always have the appropriate words ready to praise good behavior. Building the teaching habit of positive praise starts with getting the right words ready.
Recently I was reminded of this key component of building the new habit of making more positive statements. I wanted to personally develop this positive statement habit, but for some reason was not making the progress I had hoped for.
I quickly realized that I was making the same mistake I had watched the pre-service teachers make. I was unable to make more positive statements because I did not have any in mind that were ready-to-use.
To build the habit of making more positive statements, I would have to start memorizing some key phrases to keep on standby, ready to use when I needed them.
Positive Praise Example Phrases: How to Develop the Right Wording
The first step in positive praise is learning and developing the most effective wording. Using effective wording means you are getting through to your student, and clearly communicating that you appreciate the good behavior they are exhibiting.
Praise is most effective when it is prompt – when you deliver the praise in the moment. Can you picture a specific scenario in your classroom when many of the students are not doing as you asked, while a few students are dutifully following instructions?
This is the perfect scenario to use positive praise not only in rewarding students with good behavior but also encouraging other students to follow suit. Don’t be afraid to praise good behavior loud and proud for the rest of the classroom to hear!
Here are some examples of positive praise:
Look at Alan so smart sitting in his seat and showing me he is ready to learn. Way to go, Alan.
I see Beto is tracking with his finger while Claudio is saying the facts. That’s the way to help your partner!
Julia, you are so sharp having your eyes on the teacher, so you can learn! I am impressed.
Stacy and Sophia know just what to do, they have their books open to page XX. They are so on top of it!
Fantastic, Justin! You put your pencil down and are waiting for directions. I can tell you’re going to college.
Stephanie is being such a great on-task student by working quietly and not talking.
Start Small: Pick Two Key Behaviors You Would Like to See More Of
Start out by choosing wanted behaviors from the two most annoying or frustrating scenarios you face as a teacher.Stating small will help you build a consistent habit of giving positive praise.
Take these two wanted behaviors and build two praise statements you can easily use in-the-moment. Make sure the statement names the behavior specifically. Always include the student’s name, and keep it simple and affirmative.
Now, take a note card or piece of paper and write down these two statements. Don’t wait! Write them down now and keep this note in front of you while you teach. It will serve as a reminder throughout your day to incorporate positive praise as much as possible.
Practice saying these phrases aloud until you have them memorized and can recall them without having to think about it. The most important step in building this habit? Actually practicing positive statements in the classroom.
With these key components and diligent practice in the classroom, you will quickly build the habit of positively praising your students.
Positive Praise in The Classroom: Will it Make a Difference?
Fortunately, positive praise is free and can be implemented at any time throughout the school year. Start using positive praise now, and watch how your students respond.
Prepare yourself for giving positive praise when you are about to begin those frustrating scenarios. When the activity begins, look for opportunities to praise the behavior you are looking for when you notice students who are off-task.
You will see results when you use positive praise genuinely and with enthusiasm. You will know it is working if you watch for those distracted students taking notice of who is being praised. If you notice this happening, keep it up. The more praise you give for wanted behavior, the more that behavior will occur.
Grow and Expand Your Positive Praise Habit
Now that you know how to promote a specific behavior with positive praise, you can systematically develop statements for all your troublesome areas. Every time students are not doing what you want, think of what you want them to do instead. Behavior analysts call those replacement behaviors.
Positive praise can also be used creatively alongside other motivational tools in the classroom. When I began my teaching career I was in the habit of scolding behaviors I did not want. Early in my career, I learned the effectiveness of positive praise and began incorporating it into my daily routine.
When I saw the behavior I wanted I would give loud and proud praise for all to hear. I decided to couple this by adding marbles to a jar every time I gave praise, as an added motivational tool – so students could see how well they have been doing. It worked wonders on increasing wanted behavior.
Building new habits is never easy, but I can personally say that as a teacher, learning to incorporate positive praise into your teaching routine will not only help students learn, but it will save you a lot of frustration!
Do your students struggle to complete their timed math worksheets? Is your classroom a sea of finger-counting during fast math facts practice?
Your students aren’t the problem. It’s your teaching technique that’s hindering progress.
Help your students learn math facts quickly and gain confidence in their skills with Rocket Math’s research-based program. The program works because it teaches memorization through multiple, evidence-based techniques that work for all types of learners.
Why Faster Is Better
Learning math facts at a young age plays a key role in a student’s ability to succeed throughout their education as well as out in the real world.
Not only does math fact memorization serve as a foundation to other math skills, but it also plays a part in motivating student. Most children will feel a sense of pride and excitement when they recognize their ability to quickly recall math facts.
Once a student develops instant recall, math assignments become easy and fast. It enables students to easily recognize many things about numbers that teachers call “number sense.” It gives them confidence. And frankly, they like going fast much better. This makes teaching and learning math far more enjoyable!
Fortunately, almost every child is capable of memorizing math facts in such a way that allows them to call upon them instantly and painlessly. The problem is, many traditional forms of teaching math facts are not effective.
The Problem with Traditional Teaching Techniques
When I was a teacher, I found myself frustrated with the ineffectiveness of traditional teaching tools – specifically when it came to teaching math facts. Repetition, counting, and endless worksheets seemed to leave students discouraged. These old techniques were not taking into account a few simple facts about memorization.
A More Effective Approach to Teaching Fast Math Facts
To help your students memorize math facts effectively, you need to consider five things:
How many math facts to introduce in one session
How fast a student can answer individual math facts
How fast a student can answer multiple math facts
When to introduce new math facts
How often a student practices
1. Introduce a small number of math facts in one session
In grad school, I learned a simple fact about memorization that changed the way I look at teaching math facts: the brain can only process a handful of facts at a time. This fact has shaped a foundational part of Rocket Math, the math fact program I developed to help students effectively learn their math facts.
When students are presented with too many facts – perhaps on a worksheet – the brain will not even begin to attempt remembering. Instead, it has been found that when small groups of facts are presented and practiced, the brain can easily absorb the new information.
Rocket Math uses this knowledge to help students learn much faster and gain confidence in their math skills. Rocket Math only presents two math facts and their reverse facts at a time. This simple trick makes a world of difference. As the saying goes: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time . . .”.
2. Help Students Quickly Recall Individual Math Facts
There is a common misconception among teachers and parents that struggling to remember an answer is valuable. Picture the child scratching his head as he racks his brain for the right answer. Unfortunately, this is not an effective way to teach math. In order to strengthen the neural connections that are involved in memorization, recalling the correct answer quickly is key.
When students are forced to rework the problem in their head multiple times, it does nothing for their recall abilities. That is why rather than having the student guess multiple times, Rocket Math uses a correction tool that immediately reminds students of the right answer if at first, they answer either slowly or incorrectly. This helps to build the memory as they are reminded over and over of the right answer.
3. Practice a Series of Math Facts Quickly for Easy Recall
Once a child has practiced calling to mind a handful of math facts, it is time to practicing recalling them, making sure they can do so quickly. Recalling facts can be done at a high speed, whereas figuring out math facts you can’t recall can take a long time. That is why practicing fast recall is important.Repeatedly recalling fact will strengthen a student’s memory while offering a fun challenge. If the student can’t recall the math facts quickly they may need extra help from the teacher to learn the facts before continuing with quick recall practice.
Rocket Math only has students practice for a few minutes at a time, as that is all is needed when quickly recalling math facts. To measure progress, Rocket Math utilizes 2-minute timing exercises every couple of weeks to see how well students are able to recall math facts. Our free fluency tests are also a great assessment tool for testing student knowledge.
4. Carefully Build Math Fact Fluency
Teachers should be thoughtful of the rate at which they introduce new math facts. Before adding more groups of facts, previously learned facts should be well mastered. A student is ready for another handful of facts when they can recall their current set without hesitation. At first, it may seem like this approach will take longer, but because of the efficiency of memorization, students will move quickly through lessons and build math fact fluency with ease.
5. Practice Math Facts Daily for Long-Lasting Fluency
Because there are so many math facts to learn it is important to start children early and to practice daily. This gives students a chance to learn all of the math facts within all four operations. Spreading facts out over time and including daily practice throughout elementary school years will greatly improve a student’s foundational math skills.
Rocket Math: A Modern Approach to Teaching Math Facts
Testing season is stressful. The task of scheduling testing for each student in the school is difficult. It causes significant stress due to time logistics, student absences, and disrupted schedules. Teachers know how difficult it can be to deal with odd and awkward time gaps. What testing season activities can fill those holes?
Teachers spend a lot of time juggling schedule and testing material. Students are anxious about the tests as well. Often the mood in the classroom can feel tense.
We at Rocket Math are concerned about the success of students. We know how precious teaching time is. We believe that doing Rocket Math practice sessions can significantly aid during the busy spring test season. Here are five reasons why doing Rocket Math is a great activity during testing season.
1. Rocket Math is a time efficient testing season activity.
Your students are familiar with the Rocket Math routine. They know just what to do. The process of doing Rocket Math from start to finish should take no longer than ten to fifteen minutes. When you have one of those short intervals created by the testing schedule, you can make good use of this short amount of time. Rocket Math fits in a short amount of time and is still productive.
2. Rocket Math can be used during multiple testing season gaps.
As test schedules tend to have multiple gaps, Rocket Math works great as an activity that can be used multiple times throughout the day without causing extra work for teachers. Students actually appreciate the opportunity to have another chance to practice Rocket Math in the same day.
Students can easily use Rocket Math a second or third time during their school day without any negative impact. In fact, multiple sessions of Rocket Math during a single day can help students progress faster.
3. Rocket Math is a testing season activity that doesn’t require re-teaching lessons.
As students are taking make-up tests, the rest of their classmates need something to do in the classroom. Because students work in pairs during Rocket Math allows students to work through math lessons on their own. Because it is just practice, there is no need to re-teach material, students taking their make up tests filter back into the classroom.
As long as there is at least a 15-minute gap between testing sessions, students can easily complete a Rocket Math session. The best part is, because students are familiar with the Rocket Math process, teachers don’t need to explain a new activity to each student who filters in after testing.
4. Rocket Math is a highly engaging and productive testing season activity.
Many teachers struggle to fill time in the gaps between test sessions. Reading time or make-up work is often the go-to solution. Teachers know that these activities don’t seem productive or engaging. Plus, students know that these time-filling activities “don’t count.” Rocket Math however, does count!
5. Rocket Math is a testing season activity that students truly enjoy.
Accountability tests can cause stress due to unfamiliarity, whereas Rocket Math offers students comfort in an activity that they know and enjoy. As Rocket Math shows progress along the way, each student gains a sense of pride in their accomplishment and is more likely to feel motivated to continue learning.
When there are gaps between test sessions, Rocket Math can provide students a boost of confidence as they are instantly gratified by their success.
During this busy spring test time, I highly recommend teachers are prepared with their Rocket Math folders to help productively fill the time gaps left in the daily schedule. Rocket Math is a quick and easy testing season activity. It can be used during multiple gaps as an engaging learning tool. Doing Rocket Math helps students feel accomplished in an otherwise stressful testing period.
Many teachers are concerned about how to best motivate students. We want to appeal to intrinsic motivation rather than having students work for extrinsic rewards. None of us want to foster unhealthy competitiveness in our classroom. Teachers want to motivate ALL the students, not just the most able and brightest students. Here are four principles of motivation that need to be taken into account when designing a system of motivation.
1.Is the teacher impressed?
The most powerful aspect of any reward or recognition is how the teacher acts when giving it out. Teachers powerfully motivate their students when their affect is one of being impressed by the accomplishment. Students love to do something that “wows” their teacher. Children are motivated to do things that impress adults. When adults seem like they think the child really did something amazing, then the concrete form of the recognition doesn’t matter. Even a slip of paper,if it’s given out for an impressive accomplishment, will be highly sought after. A food prize, that is given out without caring by the teacher, will be worth little. The Olympic gold medal is powerful because of the recognition that everyone gives to that accomplishment–it has nothing to do with the actual token given.
2. Does it represent a concrete achievement?
The accomplishment that is rewarded must be a concrete achievement that is objectively measured. The students must all know what it takes to earn it. Teachers sometimes give out recognition that appears to be subjectively awarded. That is not good. If students can think, “Well Billy got that award because the teacher likes him,” then they will not be motivated. Students need to see a task or behavior (that they could do if they work hard) as the reason for the award. Students have to believe they will get the reward even if the teacher does not like them. All they have to do is work hard and they’ll get the reward. Then they will be motivated. Conversely, if everyone gets one regardless of their accomplishments, then it will be meaningless. Trophies for all makes them worthless.
3. Based on personal accomplishment rather than on beating the competition?
A concrete achievement also lessens competition. Students are not competing against each other. Instead, they are competing with themselves. Everyone who accomplishes that goal will be rewarded. If students feel they have a realistic shot at the reward, then it will be motivational. They may not be the first to accomplish that goal, but if they stick to it and keep working, they can eventually get there. If adults are impressed by the achievement (and they’ve seen evidence of that–see #1) then students will be motivated to achieve it.
4. Is the achievement possible for all students to achieve?
To motivate ALL the students, the achievement needs to be something that is the result of effort rather than talent. It should be something that might take a while to achieve. If anyone can do it immediately (like breathing) then there’s no glory. Students need to know that it can be achieved with effort, if you keep trying. Accumulating 25 miles of running (100) laps is a more motivating goal for students with less athletic skill than trying to be the fastest runner in class or breaking a record for the mile. In Rocket Math, teachers have reported instances where their whole class spontaneously cheered when a student who had a lot of difficulty and many failures, finally passes their first level. Now that’s how good motivation is supposed to work!