keeping up with rocket math?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mrs_B, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2009

    Anyone here use rocket math (Mastering Math Facts/Otter Creek)? I am moving to third and was left the rocket math binder. I have heard good things about this program but I am concerned about how to keep organized. I think a crate with the files is already set up and I can have a parent keep photocopies up. I guess I wonder more about the grading. If kids are on different sheets we can't switch papers and grade. Or, I guess you only need to check it if they meet their goal? That would cut the grading way down. How do you handle passing out all the individual levels? Call a table at a time to come to the crate and get what they need?? I'd appreciate any management tips!
    Thanks!
     
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  3. stevesgirl

    stevesgirl Companion

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    Aug 5, 2009

    I have used Rocket Math for three years now and my system works pretty well - it takes just a few minutes each day. I have one crate for folders for each student. In it is their rocket and grid sheet for recording progress. I also make copies of the answer sheets - yellow for multiplication and pink for division - and put them in the folder (I'm fifth grade). I number everything, no names, so I can use them again every year. I have two other crates - one with division sheets and one with multiplication - and I make all copies at the beginning of the year with individual manilla folders for each level, and then forget about them. Every morning the kids grab their folder and the sheet they need, I time one minute, then they switch with a partner and correct using their answer booklets. Takes about 3 minutes. Once every 7-10 days I collect their sheets and correct them myself just to make sure they are all making progress. My partner has them put the rockets on the wall and record progress there so she can see them. Good luck!
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Aug 5, 2009

    From a parent perspective, Otter Creek turned my daughter completely off from math. She is a slow WRITER, not a slow processer, and just could not pass those stupid timed tests. We worked and worked with her, showing her ways to move through the tests faster. When we let her say the answers aloud, she could answer all of them correctly in the minute, so we know she knew the answers on sight.
    I'm not disputing the importance of kids memorizing the math facts, but a system like this where all the kids know who is at what level can be a real turn off for some kids.
     
  5. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Aug 5, 2009

    You have a great point there...I'll be keeping this in mind as I work with kids this year.
     
  6. Jungle

    Jungle Companion

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    Aug 5, 2009

    A really good idea with Rocket Math is to have the kids timed first to see how many numbers they can write in one minute. This allows students to have different "goals" so that the student who writes slower isn't penalized. What I do is use a blank grid sheet and have the students write from 0-? (however far they can write in one minute). Then you can adjust their goal as necessary - lower it if they are struggling or raise it if they are always passing easily.
     
  7. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2009

    Mrs. R,
    Unfortunately your daughter's teacher did not use the program correctly. Like Jungle said, you are supposed to give them a little test to see how fast they can write and you adjust the goal accordingly. They even have an oral option for those that are really slow writers. Thanks for the reminder though to make sure I don't skip that step.
     
  8. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse Companion

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    Aug 5, 2009

    The instructional manual that comes with the program addresses this problem and give other ways to test these kinds if children. The teacher also should have given individual goals for each child based on how quickly they write. That is a big part of the program.

    I have used this for three years and plan to keep using it for as a long as possible. I do individual folders for each child and correct them myself. I write the student's goal on their folder so I can quickly see what each child's goal is. Then I assign partners so they are not arguing over who gets to be with who.

    We are in a copy crunch so I couldn't justify the copies. To fix that I laminated the entire set and we do them with dry erase markers. It's nice because when making copies in the beginning all I need is a full class set of A,B,C and then I start dropping the number of copies for each subsequent set by three until I am down to just 5 copies of T,U,V (or whatever) and so on. It actually saves copies in the long run.

    I am a huge fan and my kids have always loved doing it, too. Just make sure the read the entire teacher's guide because there is a lot of important information in it.
     
  9. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2009

    Stevesgirl,
    The folder with answer keys seems like it would work well. I'll have to see if the previous teacher has that part set up or not. I'm in third though so I was going to start with addition and subtraction. I wonder if all four keys will fit in a folder? After they fill a rocket do you send it home?
    Thanks!
     
  10. Mrs_B

    Mrs_B Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2009

    I thought of another question. Does anyone use a spreadsheet or something to track the kids progress? I know each rocket is colored but they keep that and I think it would help me to write the date each child passed a level on one sheet so I could see if Johnny hasn't been progressing while Sally is flying through them? I'd rather not recreate if someone else has something? :)
     
  11. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2009

    I have a rocket on the wall and each student makes an index card and decorates it with their name (usually in the shape of a rocket). Each day that they pass, they move their name up the rocket. It is a good motivator for the kids.

    I like the idea of a spreadsheet to keep track. I had the highest percentage of kids pass the principal's multiplication test and I don't think anyone else uses Rocket Math. It only takes two minutes.

    As far as corrections, I like the idea of an answer key.
     

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