Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SuperSpeed Math 2.0.. with some dessert

"Why do my kids make so many math mistakes?  I see the solution!"  -Nervous Nita

If you haven't watched a live webcast before, you are missing out!  I used my children as an excuse before, but now they just go to bed EARLY on Tuesdays!  Can I get a mighty OH YEAH!?  It is refreshing to be able to share with other teachers who are as passionate about WBT as you are!  Today the energy was SUPER high as we talked about SUPERSPEED Math!  The biggest problems with  basic  thorny math facts, is that they aren't practiced enough, students don't get immediate feedback,  it is BORING and is NOT motivating at all! 

 As my students now love to say, "Practice makes PERMANENT!"  Every year we expect our students to memorize their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and even fraction facts.  Every year we  convince ourselves that we are  bogged down by testing and the curriculum, and don't make the time to give our students the repition they need.  The truth is,  if we don't make the time, students will NEVER remember them.  It is in OUR best interest to give them the practice they need and NOT in the form of  "old school" flashcards!

Print out the ebook, SuperSpeed Math 2.0, on WholeBrainTeaching.com under FREE EBOOKS. You must be a member, but it is totally FREE!  I suggest buying the $.15 prong folders at Walmart and the page protectors at Sams Club.  Get the free one day trial HERE, and you only pay $10  for 200 page protectors.  I needed 2 packs because I have 27 students and will be using them for homework.  If you are tight on cash, you could do one folder for each pair of students. Being the bargainista that I am, I did my research and this is the cheapest you will find them!  Copy the test sheets back to back and the answer sheets back to back.  Put them in the folder in this way so that one student only turns to the test portion and the other turns to the answer section in the back.  This is the suggested weekly schedule to follow:

Monday:  Addition
Tuesday:  Subtraction
Wednesday:  Multiplication
Thursday:  Division
Friday:  Fractions or Gnarlies!

Working in pairs, students will get one minute to say combinations of math facts from 0 to 10.  If theres an odd amount of students, the extra student will be MORE than happy to be your partner (TRUST me!)  Student A has to say the problem and answer ORALLY, while Student B checks and CORRECTS the answers. If student A makes a mistake, their partner will put a dot next to the problem with a dry erase marker and tell them "Go back two!"   At the end of the minute, the student circles the last problem they answered.  Then the student will REVIEW their dotted incorrect answers before beginning their second attempt!  Each operation has 2 tests: Level 1 and Level 2.  Level 1 is in numerical order and Level 2 is random with all of the difficult "gnarlies" at the top.  This way students practice the problems that all students tend to have difficulty remembering.  The beauty is that students recieve IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK and get to PRACTICE correcting their mistakes, so that the next time they remember them!

The next day students play, they start one line down from where they stopped previously so that they eventually get through all of the problems.  Notice I said PLAY.  How can math facts be boring, when it is turned into a game where students beat their OWN records?!  In Math, students rarely see progress, so SuperSpeed makes students feel like they are actually going somewhere!  Students keep track of their own personal records.  NO child is left behind when we are focused on INDIVIDUAL improvement!  I have students keep their records in the last section of their classwork notebooks with the date.  That way I have a way of tracking their progress as well.  Since students do not dot on their page protectors with a pencil, it is also a good idea to have them jot down their own personal gnarlies in their notebooks.  The goal is that students will eventually practice and master their own list of gnarlies! 

One of the many great things about WBT is that everyone has a chance to be a winner, and the reward is intrinsic.  Students feel better when they do better.  A big improvement on a test grade goes way deeper than a prize or Tootsie Roll!  Students will gain self confidence as they continue to beat their own records.  The Super Improvers Wall is another opportunity to motivate students, as they strive to improve their personal records again and again! 

Speaking of the Super Improvers Wall, students are always striving for those ultra fancy critical thinking stars.  Coach B. came up with a BRILLIANT idea that will get students PROVING answers graphically instead of rotely.  While it is essential to have fact fluency, it is important for students to SHOW why a problem like 21/7 = 3!  Being a visual learner, this technique easily made sense!  Word problems will become so much simpler for your students!  This SWEET piece of goodness is in the form of Chocolate Math.  Think of it as a new and improved number chart.   I'd love to tell you more, but I want you to check it out for yourself, while I experiment with it in my own room.  Watch Webcast 540 and grab the Chocolate Math freebie when you buy the webcast pdf for $5.40!  Before I forget, I am heading to grab mine using the Paypal link on the right of the site!  Once I have tinkered with it in my own room, I'll be sure to report back to you just how yummy it was!


  1. WOW!! Excellent post!! Enough said!!!

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