Mixed Integers displays problems on a vertical number line and then teaches students two rules about how to solve problems that add or subtract positive and negative numbers.
Rule 1: When you add a positive number OR subtract a negative number, go UP.
Rule 2: When you subtract a positive number OR add a negative number, go DOWN.
Students learn how these rules play out when starting with a positive number and a negative number, gradually learn these two variations of all four types of problems. They learn to solve a problem type using the number line and then to recognize the pattern of each problem type by working several examples of each type. This practice gives them a chance to build fluency with each problem type as they work with their partner on the top half of the page. You will probably not be surprised that there is a one-minute test on each set. The goals are slightly different than before. Students are to be 100% accurate and to meet or beat their goal from the special writing speed test for mixed integers.
8 online lessons teach students how each type of problem is solved and why it is correct.
Students need to know that six-eighths is equivalent to three-fourths and that four-twelfths is equivalent to one-third. While they can calculate these, it is very helpful to know the most common equivalent fractions by memory. One of the most common problems students have in fractions is not “reducing their answers to simplest form.”
Here’s a 5 minute Educreations lessons on How the Equivalent Fractions program works.
Part of the Universal subscription package.
Equivalent fractions will help students commit 100 common equivalent fractions to memory. Each set (A through Z) has four fractions which are displayed on a fraction number line. Students frequently learn fractions equivalent to one,such as ten-tenths, as well as fractions that can’t be reduced, for example three-fourths is equivalent to three-fourths. Using the fraction number line will help with student understanding of why those fractions are equivalent.
Click here for the full sequence of 100 Equivalent fractions that students will learn in this program.
Equivalent fractions, Factors, and Integers, are all pre-algebra programs that are appropriate for middle school students who already know the basic facts.
Dictating Sentences is spelling with a twist. Instead of spelling one word at a time, in Dictating Sentences (now part of the Universal Level Rocket Math Worksheet Program) students are asked to write an entire sentence from memory. They work in pairs and their tutor has the student repeat the sentence until it is learned. Then the student has to write the whole sentence from memory. It turns out this is considerably harder than writing words on a spelling test, so it is challenging practice, and does a lot to help students develop automaticity with spelling.
If you have to stop and think of the spelling of a word while you are trying to write, it distracts you from thinking about what you are trying to write. Students are more successful and better able to show what they know and better able to focus on learning when their tool skills have developed to the level of automaticity.
Daily practice develops automaticity. Developing automaticity with math facts and with spelling requires a lot of practice. Daily practice is best and a few minutes a day is optimal. That is why Rocket Math is designed the way it is–to provide that daily practice. So Dictating Sentences gives each member of the pair ten minutes a day of practice writing sentences composed of words they know how to spell.
Working in pairs. As you know from Rocket Math practice, students enjoy working in pairs. And when one partner has an answer key the practice can be checked and corrected. Sound research shows that immediate correction and editing of misspelled words is the fastest way to learn the correct spelling, so that’s what we have the student tutor do. After each sentence is written every word is checked and practiced again until it is correct.
Mastery learning. The program is structure so that all the words are learned to the level of automaticy. Students keep working on a sentence until it can be written without any errors. They work on the same lesson for as many days as is needed for them to spelling every word perfectly in all three sentences. Each sentence persists for two or three lessons, so that the student is required to write it from memory and spell every word perfectly for several days in a row.
500 Most common words. Dictating sentences systematically practices the 500 most common words that students need in their writing. It includes all of Rebecca Sitton’s 400 Core Words. It also includes the 340 words that children most need for writing according to writing researchers Harris and Graham. When students know these words to the level of automaticity, they will be able to write fluently and easily.
Earning points by being correct and going fast. Students earn two points for every word that is spelling correctly the first time. Every word on which there is an error is worked on until it too can be spelled correctly, earning one point. The faster students go during their ten minutes, the more points they can earn. Students graph the amount of points earned and try to beat their own score from previous days. Teams can be set up and competition for the glory of being on the winning team can enhance the motivation.
Individual Placement. There is a placement test. Students begin at the level where they first make a mistake. Student partners do not need to be at the same level, so every student can be individually placed at the level of success.
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.
These are the rest of the Subtraction facts that the Common Core suggests that students be able to compute mentally such as 18-15, 15-5, and 19-8. These obviously build on the basic single digit facts such as 8-5, 5-5, and 9-8. Students should find these fairly easy to master but they still need some practice to commit them to memory. LOOK OUT! Because all the answers are two digits, the number of problems students can be expected to answer will go down! You must give the special Subtract from 20 Writing Speed Test to set new, lower, goals for your students. To the left you can see the sequence of facts that will be learned in the Subtract from 20 program. Otherwise the program is exactly the same as the basic Subtraction Rocket Math program and uses the same forms–that can be found in the forms and information drawer.
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