Fuchs Tutoring

Number Rockets

  1. Home
  2. >
  3. Math
  4. >
  5. Math K-2/3
  6. >
  7. Fuchs: Number Rockets

Grade Levels Group Size Tutor Type Qualifying Studies Average Effect Size
12-4Teaching Asst.1+0.34

Contact Info


Groups Studied
Asian American
English Learners
Free and Reduced Lunch

Communities Studied

Program Description

Number Rockets is a tutoring program for first-grade students identified as at risk for mathematics difficulty. The program is based on the concrete-representational-abstract model, which relies on concrete objects to promote conceptual learning. Tutors deliver the program to small groups of 2-4 students three times per week during the school day in 40-minute sessions, with 30 minutes of mathematics instruction and activities, followed by 10 minutes of practice to build arithmetic fluency. The 63 program lessons cover 17 topics, and topics include worksheets and manipulatives (e.g., Base-10 blocks for place value instruction). Topics span identifying and writing numbers; understanding less than, greater than, and equal; sequencing numbers, skip counting; place value; identifying operations; writing number sentences; addition and subtraction facts; 2-digit addition and subtraction; and missing addends.

During the final 10 minutes of each tutoring session, students complete a fluency game designed to develop automatic retrieval of math facts, and students are taught efficient counting strategies as backups to automatic retrieval. Student behavior is monitored throughout each session. At varied intervals, students are awarded points for on-task behavior, and after a pre-determined number of points have been earned, students may trade points for prizes.



Tutors are usually hired by school districts. Tutors may be full-time or may work five hours a day during school time. Tutors usually tutor in person, but may also work remotely when in-person tutoring is not possible.


Number Rockets was developed as a Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention at 1st grade to prevent math disabilities and to address the needs of students with math disabilities.


Number Rockets does not require technology.


Number Rockets includes a teacher manual and a supplemental materials packet. The teacher manual includes lesson guides, activity guides, and implementation directions. The supplemental materials packet includes student worksheets, 8.5” x 11” posters, flash cards for the daily flash card activity, and point sheets for behavior management.

Program Operation

Number Rockets is conducted 3 times per week for 17 weeks


For more information on program material costs, contact lynn.a.davies@vandervilt.edu. For information on professional development opportunities and supports, contact FuchsTutoring@air.org.

Research on Program Outcomes

Multiple randomized controlled trials have been conducted on Number Rockets and published in peer-review journals, some of which were reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse as part of the 2021 Institute on Education Sciences math intervention practice guide (https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/PracticeGuide/WWC2021006-Math-PG.pdf). In a 2005 randomized controlled trial, Fuchs et al. (2013) randomly assigned 127 first graders with start-of-school-year math deficits were randomly assigned to Number Rockets or a control group. Effect sizes comparing Number Rockets to the control favored Number Rockets on curriculum-based measurement slope (+0.40); addition and subtraction basic facts (+0.40, +0.14), Woodcock-Johnson Calculations (+0.57) and Applied Problems (+0.11), first-grade math concepts & applications (+0.67), and story problems (+0.70). The two Woodcock-Johnson Calculations measures are eligible effect sizes for the ProvenTutoring website.

Key Studies

  • Fuchs, L.S., Geary, D.C., Compton, D.L., Fuchs, D., Schatschneider, C., Hamlett, C.L., DeSelms, J., Seethaler, P.M., Wilson, J., Craddock, C.F., Bryant, J.D., Luther, K., & Changas, P. (2013). Effects of first-grade number knowledge tutoring with contrasting forms of practice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 58-77.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: