Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rocket Math Drills and Celebrations

Our school uses a math program to supplement Everyday Math. We felt that the students weren't learning the basic facts well enough.

Rocket Math is a one minute drill sheet, but each child only completes the number that they are able to write in that amount of time. (A pretest determines how much they can write.)

The levels are named each letter of the alphabet. As they pass one level they move to the next. As they pass addition, they move to subtraction, then on to multiplication and finally division.

In our building each level has it's own reward. If the child passes the letter, they get to stand on their chair and the class gives them a chair cheer (really, REALLY loud screams, cheers, banging on the desks, what ever makes a loud noise!)

When  a child passes addition, they get to stand on their own desk and get their picture taken for the Wall of Fame.
 If they pass Subtraction they stand on my desk.   If they pass Multiplication, they stand on a roof outside my room. All the kids who are at recess come up and cheer them on. If they pass Division, they stand on this roof and spray them with silly string!
This is the Wall of Fame where the 2nd grader's pictures go if they pass.

Below is the Wall of Fame for the 1st graders who have passed Addition.

This is the bulletin board that changes daily as students pass a level and their rocket gets moved to a new letter. This is two classes of first grade and two classes of 2nd grade. We also put a string by the letter that shows the goal they are trying to reach by the end of each trimester. It helps them see where they need to be.

Not sure why these two pictures won't stay together!

I hope this helps some of you who feel the need to beef up your Everyday Math program.

P.S. I wanted to let you know that our service project total is at $1596! We have raised enough for the one house and now are trying to get enough money for the bathroom.

That is amazing. . . no, it's AH -MAZ- ING!
This Friday is the last day. Let's hope we can help this family out and get them a bathroom!


  1. I love this idea! We're starting "Otter Creek" next year, which I hear is similar... I'll be keeping this in mind!

    PS- thanks for the prank call earlier!

    Mrs. Bainbridge's Blog

    1. Christina! It is the same thing. Our program comes from Otter Creek. I'd love to give you more info on how we use it sometime. At first only our school used it and Eastwood (3rd through 5th) could always pick out the Wenzel Kids because they knew their facts. But now our whole district uses it in some ways. Today we had our 1st First grader pass Subtraction. He's super elated about it too!
      But the celebrations are the big deal. . . our kids love them and so look forward to them too.
      Sorry about the prank call. .. you were the last one that I had texted and I must have hit my purse too hard and it made my phone dial. . I hate it when that happens. My daughter says I do it more often with her!

  2. What a wonderful idea, I love the wall of fame and the rewards for passing off math facts. Thanks soooo much for sharing.

    Jill I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  3. I use rocket math too & have for several years. I love the celebrations that you do, that would be so fun for the kiddos. It's amazing that you have some firsties on subtraction! Do you follow the program? Just curious. Enjoy your weekend.

    First Grade Delight

  4. Yes we do follow the program. We do it everyday. The things that we do a bit different is that we allow them one minute and fifteen seconds to reach their goals, and we do it twice for the kids who don't pass on that day. Another thing that we do is we mandate that they practice with flashcards each night and once on the weekends. Parents have to sign that they have practiced. Will some parents lie about this? Probably, but they're only cheating themselves out of learning. This is the Otter Creek program and we find that other buildings in our district aren't having the success that we do. We really feel that it is the flashcard practice (and no other math homework sent home) that is helping our kids become more successful. The upper grades have told us they can recognize our students because they know their facts better than other schools. Knowing these facts is the basis for so many other math skills so why not be sure they know these best? On the hallway bulletin board, there is a string that show where they need to be by the end of second grade. This helps them focus on that goal and go after it. I would gladly answer any questions you have. We also feel the celebrations and recognition is a huge part of it.

  5. Just stopping by to tell you about my custom stamp giveaway. I use mine all the time to stamp my personal classroom books. They make great stationery stamps too! Come check it out

  6. Patty - that looks like so much fun. Sometimes I think I forget to infuse fun into the day. I used to be such a blast and now...blah. I need to perk things up...thanks for the motivation. I'll have to look into that Rocket Math...never heard of it.

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    Congrats on winning the brag tags!!!!! {jealous!!!}

    1. Thanks Holly, If you google Otter Creek, you'll find the Rocket Math there. Otter Creek is the parent company of it. I'd love to share more about it, if you're wanting more info.

    2. Actually, the latest version of Rocket Math (really called "Rocket Math") is at www.rocketmath.com
      The co-authors are Donald Crawford, PhD. and Randi Saulter. Dr. Crawford is the author of the version sold by Otter Creek. The revision is not available from them however. It is published by R & D Instructional Solution. www.rocketmath.com

  7. congrats on winning the brag tags, coool!

    I have had some problems with my computer at home and I think it has made some problems with my blog. Would it be okay to e-mail you after school is out and get your phone number so I could fix my problems and make it better? If your not comfortable with that, it's fine.


    1. Jill, of course you can. email me at prutenba@sturgisps.org

  8. I worked at a school that used Otter Creek. I am in love with the incentive for passing the levels. Stand on the desks! What students wouldn't love that. If you have a moment, stop by my blog. I am having a giveaway!


    1. Check out the most updated revision of the Rocket Math curriculum at www.rocketmath.com.

  9. Awesome, my daughter also like Rocket Math Drills. Also similarly check out Splash Math app. I purchased this app for her. Grade 3 app is very nice and cover lot of chapter. It also helps in improving their math skills.

  10. Awesome, my daughter also like Rocket Math Drills. Also similarly check out Splash Math app. I purchased this app for her. Grade 3 app is very nice and cover lot of chapter. It also helps in improving their math skills.


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