Dr. Don (and his staff) taking customer calls! 
Some of you may have wondered about the size of the Rocket Math staff.  So I thought I'd include a picture of myself (and my whole staff ) taking customer calls on Tuesday.  On that day I was also taking a hike in beautiful Forest Park, here in Portland.  You may have heard the phrase, "operators standing by to take your calls."  Well, not so much with Rocket Math, but I am always happy to talk with you!   

Customer feedback of the week
Rocket Math is the best training program ever for helping students learn a work ethic, build self-confidence, and excel. I've worked extensively with your program for 10 years and I've seen its awesome results. It's one of the most engaging and effective programs I've ever seen.
-Hal Mangen, Omaha, NE

Student recognition of the week
Positive recognition for Rocket Math accomplishments helps students build self-esteem, develop intrinsic motivation, learn to study, and get smart! Please send us pictures of your winners! 
Rocketmath Girl
Kimberly Ragsdale, a teacher at the Portland, Oregon Arthur Academy, took this picture of one of her students, Adna, in front of the Rocket Math Wall Chart holding a Rocket Math award certificate. Kimberly attached the picture to an email and sent it to the parents and the principal with the following note:
"Adna was the first person in class to finish rocket math addition!!! She's rocketing off to grand things in first grade!!!
This kind of recognition lets the student know that they have really accomplished something important. The principal in turn forwarded the email on to me and I asked to put this in Dr. Don's Hints and Tips.
Then we got this email back from Adna's mother! "Hello everyone, I just want to say that I am so proud of my daughter! I am typing this email now in my tears! She is very, very happy and proud of herself! Words cannot describe our feelings! Yes, you can put her name/picture in the newsletter. I would love to see a copy! None of this would happen without Adna's wonderful teachers and other PAA staff! You all deserve a huge "thank you"! Love to you all from Adna's parents"

Causing students to be proud of themselves is the way to build intrinsic motivation. Rocket Math can help with that important goal.  Please send me examples of all the great motivation you do! 

Dr. Don's Training Tips video clip
What to do if students get
What to do if students get "stuck" and stop progressing through Rocket Math.

I want you to get the best training.  Please take advantage of this coupon to get the new training DVD for only $29.    

Take $100
 off the $129 price (Workshop Training DVD #2004) 
Type in coupon code "TrainUsDVD" 
Offer Expires 12/24/2015. On-line only, coupon code must be entered: only valid for the item listed above; 1 coupon allowed per  customer

Customer question of the week

A teacher asks:
I am the K-1 instructional coach for our district and I am looking for the contact information for a 1st grade teacher who has done Rocket Math in first grade. We have a building who will be piloting the program in first grade and would like some advice on what time of year is best to begin the program!

Dr Don Answers:
We don't keep customer contact information to give out--our privacy policy does not allow that. [However, we are about to create a Rocket Math Ambassadors web page for teachers who volunteer to be available to take questions from other teachers about Rocket Math. See below.]

Answer to your second question: You want to know when in first grade to begin the program. The answer to your question is that students can begin memorizing basic addition facts in first grade as soon as they understand the concept of addition. This is an example of the kinds of things explained in our Rocket Math FAQs here.  This topic is covered in letter "E."

When are students ready to begin fact memorization in an operation?

When they "understand the concept" of the operation. "And how does one know that?" you might be asking. Well, we're going to tell you. Drumroll, please. Children "understand" an operation when they are able to compute or figure out any fact in the operation. They can use their fingers to figure out the addition and subtraction facts. Or they can use successive addition to figure out the multiplication facts. Or they can use manipulatives and get the right answer. Or they can draw lines, or horses, or dots, or cookies  (We've seen it all.) and get the answer. Somehow, some way, given any fact in the operation, and unlimited time, the child can figure out the answer. Then the child is ready to begin memorizing.

This might be at the start of the school year, or might not be true until November--depending on your district's scope and sequence. Hope this answers your question.
We trust you and rely on your honor.  If you previously purchased a lifetime license (or your school did), use this coupon code to access a Rocket Math Basic subscription for only $4 for the year.    

Lifetime License holders take $25

off either subscription (#2000 or #2001) 
Type in coupon code "IhaveaLifetimeLicense" 
Offer Expires 12/24/2015. On-line only, coupon code must be entered: only valid for the items listed above; 1 coupon allowed per  customer
.  Includes Whole School Licenses.  
What's new with Rocket Math?
Become a Rocket Math Ambassador! 

You love Rocket Math. You've been using it for years.  Would you please consider becoming a Rocket Math Ambassador and let others know how well it works?  Potential users of Rocket Math want a chance to talk to someone who has used the program.  They certainly are more likely to listen to you than to me!

To apply to be a Rocket Math Ambassador send an email to me ([email protected]) with your name, school address, email address, your phone number and tell me how long and how successfully you've been using Rocket Math.  Principals or math coaches of schools with school-wide implementations can apply for their school to be a Rocket Math Ambassador.  I'll read through the applications and I may contact you for further clarification.  If I choose you or your school, I will post your information as a Rocket Math Ambassador on the website so that other parents, teachers and schools in your area can contact you to find out about your experience and for your expertise. 

To thank you for your help in spreading the word I am offering you a free Universal subscription (you need to know all that is available) and a personal coupon code for 10% off all your orders.
Benefits to a school if the principal signs up the whole school: free Universal subscriptions for all the teachers in your school and a school level coupon for 10% of all the school's future orders.
But there's MORE!  More active Rocket Math Ambassadors earn greater discounts up to 50% or free merchandise. 
Encouraged activities for Rocket Math Ambassadors:
  1. Like us on Facebook 
  2. Put a testimonial on our website here.
  3. Post a review of Rocket Math on our Facebook page.
  4. Be sure to sign up for Dr. Don's Hints and Tips.  
  5. Send us questions on Facebook or for our blog.
  6. Post a Rocket Math activity or achievement in your classroom on our Facebook page ! Let the world know how proud you are of your students' accomplishments. I'll feature some of these in Dr. Don's Hints and Tips.
  7. Allow interested teachers to come and see Rocket Math in action. 
  8. Be the source of information about Rocket Math to a school who purchases and uses Rocket Math (a referral).
  9. Wear a Rocket Math sandwich board at district wide inservice trainings and hand out flyers  (just kidding!)
  10. ** Present about Rocket Math at an educational conference.
  11. ** Do research on Rocket Math and present it at a conference.
  12. ** Publish a research article on Rocket Math in an educational journal.
** Rocket Math Ambassadors who present or publish research would be eligible for a cash honorarium. Let me know if you need help with research. Send me the conference program listing in which Rocket Math is mentioned in your title or explanation of your talk or a link to your published article.  
The correct speed and manner of practice.

We are using Rocket Math in 3rd grade and it is taking much longer than it should for the kids to master a given set of facts. I observed in the room, and the thing I noticed is that the kids are moving through the paired practice section trying to do the problems as fast as they can and are not getting the solid practice they need. Ms. Apple says that she has modeled over and over the correct speed and manner in which to do the practice and the roles of each kid in the practice session. She also commented that the kids will get into an argument about if one of them paused or if they said it correctly or some other procedural issue. Any suggestions beyond more modeling that might help bring this part in line so that the kids get the practice they need?
Dr. Don's Answer:
Good questions. A few ideas here.
1) Be sure that the paired practice is long enough-e.g., at least 2 minutes and possibly 3 minutes. More practice is better and as they get tired, they will slow down a bit. 
2) There is nothing wrong with going fast (everyone can listen faster than anyone can talk), as long as the checker is stopping to correct errors and practice hesitations. The teacher should be sure to model for the students, where she makes a hesitation, and the checker has to stop her to give her the correction procedure. Then as students are practicing, she should circulate, listening for correction of hesitations, and praise that highly, as the BEST thing you can do for your partner-give them extra practice on a fact that were slow in answering.
3) Set up the rule: The checker is always right. Click here to read the rest 
Thank you for your interest in Rocket Math.  I created Rocket Math so we can help your students be more successful, gain confidence and enjoy math more.  Let me know how else I can help.  Feel free to call me with any questions you have or send me an email to [email protected]
Dr. Don
R&D Instructional Solutions
(the home of Rocket Math)
phone (888) 488-4854
Rocket Math 
Addition App
Available in the 
Getting grades of 
and  A+ 
from the rigorous Balefire Labs is 
quite an honor!

Click to read the reviews  for our Apps:

Rocket Math
Multiplication App
Available in the