What's the point of grading? Especially Rocket Math!

Getting an "A" grade motivates students to do more of that subject. 

Teachers ask me how they should grade Rocket Math. Here's the problem.  Who is responsible for the success of students doing Rocket Math? The teacher is.  The students--not so much!
Read the rest of the answer, including one idea for grading Rocket Math fairly!
Customer feedback of the week
I LOVE rocket math and so do my students. If our math lesson goes long and I tell them we don't have time to do Rocket Math that day, my students groan. They really enjoy the timed tests and seeing their improvement.
-Kristen Elliott, Valhalla Elementary, Federal Way, WA  
See other customer testimonials here on our website

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 share what you do to recognize student accomplishments! 
First grade newsletter:
Good news!  We reached 100% mastery this week!  Every child was on letter C or higher!  Give your kiddo a huuuuuuuge hug and congratulate them on their accomplishment!
Dr. Don's Training Tips Video Clip

Principal and Coach observation forms (2 min.) 

(1) During practice observation form
(2) Rocket Math Look-Fors Checklist 

Hidden gem of the week!
No time to explore our website? Here's a gem you might not otherwise notice.

This 2015 version of the Individual Student graph (for 2-minute timings) has been modified so it accommodates students at all different levels.  Whether students begin at answering 7 problems in 2 minutes or at 47 problems in 2 minutes you can set the starting point on the vertical axis so they start where they should (at 10 or 40 respectively).  Then there will be room for the student to improve all year without going out the top of the graph! 

This is on our immensely valuable Free Resources and Downloads page!  

Permanently reduced to $29

Workshop Training DVD #2004
Three hours of Dr. Don's quality training for this low price.

Customer question of the week
Jennifer asks:
After getting Rocket Math up and running in our 3rd grade classes, we are wondering if students' goals ever change. For instance, I have a student who scored 42 on the writing speed test but is having difficulty achieving that on the one minute timing (scores 37-39 consistently). We have other students who are struggling with this as well. Let me know if we reset goals at some point or if you have any other suggestions. Thanks!

Dr. Don answers:
Jennifer,  Thank you for asking such a great and important question. Lowering students goals generally should not happen.

Goals should NOT be lowered because of a "knowing-the-facts" problem, meaning the problems seem hard or the student hasn't mastered the facts (learned every single one of the facts to the point of instantaneous recall).  Goals might be lowered if there is a "handwriting speed" problem, meaning they really cannot write as fast as we thought.
You can't decide which kind of problem you have on the basis of "not passing" for a handful of days.       Click here to read more of Don's complete answer.

Teacher-made Rocket Math
Video of the week.

It turns out that many of you out there create useful videos about Rocket Math.  These are posted on our Rocket Math You Tube Channel so you can access them to use.  I am going to feature one here each week.  Send me a link to yours!

Teacher Christopher Wright did this correct and careful explanation of how to practice Rocket Math--using the original 2007 version. 
Well done,Christopher--you nailed it.

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?
What if your school already has a Rocket Math Whole School Lifetime License? How much is a subscription?

This week I heard from a school that had bought a Whole School Lifetime License back in 2012.  I looked them up and found them.  I told them that all their teachers qualified for the $25 discount on their subscriptions. 

"But how much would a Small Whole School Site basic Subscription cost?"

They didn't believe the answer: $49!

Once I had confirmed their status as holders of a Whole School lifetime license, I gave them a unique coupon code to purchase at that discount. If your school has a lifetime license I will do the same for you.   You must contact me directly to get these prices!    
  • #2301 Small Whole School Site (20) basic subscriptions (1 year)  $49
  • #2302 Medium Whole School Site (30) basic subscriptions (1 year) $84
  • #2303 Large Whole School Site (50) basic subscriptions (1 year) $124 
Some of your teachers will need access to more than the basic operations, so they can Upgrade to Universal (item #2999) for only $20 here.  That price is good when you initially order--or any time in the future!  No gotchas here.   
Can you fail a 2-minute timing?

Alison asks:
Hi Dr. Don,
Quick question for you. A student has passed out of an operation while in first grade. The next year his new teacher moves him back to addition based on his two minute timing score. Should a student ever be made to go back and redo an operation based on two minute timings or once they have passed out they should get to stay? Should the two minute timings be used that way? I just reread the teacher directions but am unclear about this. Thanks for any insight on this.

Dr. Don Answers:            
Alison,  Sorry, there are no "quick questions" with me! My teacher directions did not specify any criteria of performance on a 2-minute timing upon which to put a student "back" into an operation. Really, I don't know what that criteria would be. The 2-minute timings can't really be failed, as they are just used to measure progress. There are few absolute criteria other than "as fast as his fingers can carry him" when it comes to math fact fluency. The criteria that represents "as fast as his fingers can carry him" in first grade is no longer the case in second grade-and the student can be expected to do more. But that does not mean that the student must start over practicing addition again, because if he went through the levels of Rocket Math Addition he probably knows the addition facts pretty well.
More to the point...

 To Read the rest of the answer click here. 
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