SES Math Information
This year, all NASD Grade 1-3 students are spending time daily learning and practicing math facts. Depending on your child’s grade level and/or previous mastery of facts, he/she began this school year in either the operation of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Your child will continue to work on an operation until he/she knows all the facts instantly, without any pause before answering. This is known as “automaticity”, and it is the key to our fact fluency program called Rocket Math.
We will spend time working on Rocket Math each day. Rocket Math is unique because it teaches only 2 facts and their reverses on each practice page. For example, those students beginning in the operation of addition will practice the following facts to start the program: 1 + 2; 2 + 1; 1 + 3; and 3 + 1. The program allows each child to progress at his/her own pace, taking as many days to master those two facts as needed. Students are given an opportunity daily to show they have “mastered” a set of facts by passing a one-minute timed test. Once students “pass” a set of facts, they color in the letter for that set on their “Rocket Chart.” Once all sets are passed by a student (26 sets for each operation), he/she can move on to another operation. Students may also move onto another operation by passing 2-Minute Tests of all the facts in a given operation. These tests are given every 2-3 weeks during the school year.
You can help your child progress and learn facts faster by practicing at home. Each day, your child will bring home that day’s practice/quiz sheet. It will help if you practice this sheet with your child for 3-5 minutes.
Here is how we recommend that you practice:
• Your child sits with the practice sheet in front of him/her. The practice problems go in a circle around the outside of the page (starting at the top left hand-corner and working clockwise around the page). The practice sheet should not have any answers. You will work on only these outside facts. You may wish to tape paper over the inside part of the sheet. This is the actual test that your child took that school day.
• Your child reads each fact aloud --- not just the answer. For example, he/she would say 1 + 2 = 3.
• If you hear either the slightest hesitation or your child makes an error on one of the facts, please give your child some extra practice on that fact by immediately giving him/her the answer and asking him/her to repeat the problem and the answer again 3 times.
• Your child then backs up three problems and begins to work around the outside of the sheet again.
• 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 the page. This should only take about three to five minutes. If you would like to do a second session of practice, wait at least an hour, or try it again in the morning. When working on memorizing facts, two short sessions with time in between is much more beneficial to your child than one very long session.
• Your child should be able to explain this procedure to you because it is the same procedure that we use to practice in our class.
Learning all the facts in an operation IS a lot of work. But, future math success is very dependent upon knowing facts so well that answers come automatically. This is especially true as students move on to higher grade levels where math problems get more complex in both the number of steps involved and the different operations that need to be completed before solving them. Please help your child by sharing the importance of learning his/her math facts. By showing your child that learning math facts is indeed important to you – it will also be that much more important to him/her.
Thank you so much for your support of our Rocket Math program. Your time and help in making your child successful is greatly appreciated….