Getting Started with MIND: Facts on Fire
The MIND: Facts on Fire is a program that is implemented school-wide each day for 4 minutes. Each student is provided with an instructional level skill packet and the school provides instructions over the intercom system to cue students to practice early numeracy or computation problems. Students move through a pre-determined sequence of skills and progress across these as mastery criteria are met. Facts on Fire was designed to prevent skill deficits and has been empirically validated to enhance broad math achievement scores (i.e., state test scores).
Planning for MIND: Facts on Fire
Step 1: Determine Need for School Wide Implementation
Should your school invest the time and resources to run the MIND: Facts on Fire? To answer this question data should be evaluated to determine if students are meeting standards. The MIND: Facts on Fire uses a series of Digit Correct per Minute (DC/M) criterion to guide decision making about whether students have mastered computation. A majority of our criteria are at 40 DC/M and are consistent with research that has shown that this level of fluency produces skill retention, maintenance, and generalization. Furthermore, this level of computation proficiency has been linked to increased scores on broad math tests (e.g., state test). If less than 80% of students meet fluency criteria on previously taught skill then your school should consider adopting the MIND: Fact on Fire school-wide intervention program.
Step 2: Define Roles & Secure Required Resources
Before implementing MIND: Facts on Fire it is critical that administration secures the manpower and resources necessary to run this school wide program. To ensure success students must engage in fact practice every day. To accomplish this, schools have incorporated the implementation of the MIND: Facts on Fire into the morning announcements over the intercom. Specifically, each student gets a 10 page packet each week that they are prompted to practice each morning for 2- 2 minute timings. Teachers are required to pass out the packets and monitor student effort and task adherence. Also, the teacher will be required to score and record the DC/M score for each student 2 times per week to determine what skill the student will work on for the next week. In most instances there is a person that oversees and organizes data collection, printing, and packet dissemination. A majority of the cost is printing and paper costs (everything from our website is free!).
Implementing MIND: Facts on Fire
Step 1: Assess & Place Students in Instructional Level Skill
Determine which skills in the MIND: Facts of Fire scope and sequence the students have been taught and assess the class in each of the skills for 1 minute. Identify the lowest skill for each student where he/she fails to surpass the mastery criteria. Place each student in his/her identified skill, print out the corresponding skill booklet, and the class is ready to begin the MIND: Facts on Fire. Please resist the urge to move students through skill areas when the mastery criteria is not met. Computation mastery in early skills is essential to quickly moving through later skills. (e.g., fluent subtraction will benefit students practicing multi-digit division).
Step 2: Ensure Daily Implementation & Integrity
Research has shown that daily practice is necessary to obtain desired growth rates, so it is imperative that every class and every student participate each day in the Facts on Fire program. Second, teachers must be active participants by walking around the room and providing behavior specific praise to students for task adherence and effort. Students should be acutely aware that their teacher sees fact fluency as an essential math skill. It is also important that administrators conduct spot-checks to provide performance feedback to classroom teachers on treatment integrity.
Step 3: Weekly Scoring & Decision Making
To ensure that students are practicing skills that are instructionally matched to their needs the classroom teacher scores two probes each week to obtain each students DC/M performance. These scores are used to inform educational decisions about skill placement (stay on current skill or move to the next) and communicate what skill packet needs to be printed for the upcoming week. In addition, if a student fails to progress within or across skills the MIND: Facts on Fire program contains a series of assessments to pinpoint potential causes and recommend solutions.
Step 4: Management of Materials
A person needs to be trained to oversee and manage materials. This will include knowledge of the website to locate necessary materials for printing, taking print orders from teachers, printing materials, getting booklets to classrooms, and organizing data to support incentive plans (if applicable) and report outcomes for consumers. This person is vital to keeping the MIND: Facts on Fire working week to week and allowing teachers to focus on implementing the program.
Step 5: MIND: EN Special Considerations
When administering group-wide interventions at the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade level there are factors that will uniquely impact administration.
1. Variety of Target Skills
At this level it is anticipated that student's skill deficits can vary tremendously. In this situation, where some students will be building gateway skills while other students are focused on numeracy skills, class-wide administration can be assisted by breaking the student's into smaller groups so that directions are specific to their intervention. At the grade-wide level, students can be broken into skill groups and each teacher can administer a different intervention in their classroom. Once students are familiar with the procedures associated with their target skill more generic directions can be read aloud and the intervention can occur class-wide.
2. Requires Substantial Monitoring
Group-wide administration at the early numeracy level requires school personnel to ensure student's are adhering to the presented task and understand task demands. It is important to address student's questions before beginning the intervention. When reading the scripted directions it is necessary to monitor student's because they may try to work ahead. Once the timer has gone off and the intervention is completed student's may also try to keep working so it is important to be aware of student's during this transition.
3. Choral Responding
There are many opportunities for a teacher to utilize these materials class-wide because ideally they will correspond to the classroom curriculum. When administering Oral Counting Fluency and Number Identification Fluency it is important to monitor student's responding and ensure equal participation. When administering the interventions targeting numeracy skills the script trains student's to acquire mathematics language. When administering it group-wide student's should respond in unison.
4. Gateway Skill Probes*
To assess and intervene on the Gateway Skills you will only need one probe. It will be the same probe for each administration so there is only one version linked below.