Students at Red Mill Elementary School are going to be spending time daily practicing and learning math facts. We will be using a program called Rocket Math. The program will take only a few minutes of class time each day, and students will keep working until they have mastered all the basic facts. A fact is mastered when it can be answered instantly without any pause. Rocket Math is unique because it teaches only 2 facts and their inverses for each level. The program allows each child to go at his or her own pace, taking as many days to master those two facts as needed. Students are given an opportunity daily to show they have learned a set of facts by passing a test. Once students “pass” a set of facts, they color in the letter for that set on their Rocket Chart.
You can help your child progress through the levels by practicing the same set of facts your child is learning at school. Your child will bring home a practice sheet each day. It will help a great deal if you practice the facts on this sheet for at least five minutes. If you choose to use flashcards, please only study the facts that your child is learning in Rocket Math. Her is how we recommend you practice.
Ø Your child sits with the practice sheet in front of him/her. The problems for practice go in a circle around the outside of the paper and should not have the answers written in. You will work on these outside facts. You may wish to tape paper over the inside part. This is the test that your child took that day.
Ø Your child reads each fact (not just the answer) aloud and says the answer.
Ø If you hear either the slightest hesitation or an error on one of the facts, give your child some extra practice on that fact by immediately giving your child the answer and asking him/her to repeat the problem and answer again.
Ø Your child then backs up three problems and begins again.
Ø If there is no hesitation or mistake when the problem is reached this time, be sure to praise your child and let him/her continue. Go once around the outside of that page. This should only take a few minutes. Please spend no more than five minutes in one review session. If you wish to do a second session, wait at least an hour, or try it again in the morning. When memorizing facts, two short sessions hours apart are far more helpful than one long session. Your child’s hard work should pay off in a few days. Then the next set will be assigned and practice can begin again. Each practice and test sheet is cumulative, including all the facts learned so far.
Ø Your child should be able to explain this procedure to you because it is the same that we practice in class.
Learning all the facts in a given operation is a lot of work, but future success in math is dependent upon knowing facts so well that the answers come automatically without much thinking. You can also help by sharing with your child the importance of learning math facts. We will keep you notified of your child’s success in learning their basic facts. The Washington Heights Team thanks you in advance for your support of this critical learning goal. We look forward to seeing your child soar to new heights with Rocket Math.