Additional Math Pages & Resources

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Sugar Cookie Math

Keep your students on task with some edible math and a cookie break during the holiday season.

Have each student write out a recipe card with the following sugar cookie recipe. Have younger students write out just the ingredients and omit adjectives such as "all-purpose" and "confectioner's."

Holiday Sugar Cookies
Combine these ingredients and set aside:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Beat with a mixer
8 ounces (1 stick) butter

Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, beating well. Then add
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Divide the dough into 2 balls and refrigerate for 1 hour (optional).

Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick, and cut with a cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass. Place on a cookie sheet so the cookies do not touch. Bake at 350ยบ for 8 minutes or until golden (as shown in this photo).

This recipe has no eggs, since some children have egg allergies. Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Now ask the students to double the recipe and write the new ingredient amounts on a separate index card. (4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup sugar, 2 sticks butter) Ask them to write on the card how many cookies the recipe will make when doubled. (approximately 4 dozen or 48 cookies) Explain that this can be written as, "Makes 4 dozen cookies" or "Yield: 4 dozen cookies".
Sugar Cookie Ingredients

Make a batch or two of cookie dough before class or let your students make the cookies. Provide wet wipes or have the students wash their hands thoroughly. Give each student a piece of wax paper and some dough. Let the students share rolling pins.

Provide holiday cookie cutters or small plastic cups to use to cut the cookies. Round cookies can be decorated as snowmen, Santas and ornaments or can be sprinkled with colored sugar before baking.

Have an assistant or parent volunteer bake the cookies and let them cool while you present your math lesson of the day.

If you have time, let your students divide the original recipe in half and decide how many cookies the smaller batch will make. (1 dozen or 12 cookies)

If you let your students decorate the cookies after baking, provide plastic knives, chocolate chips, round cinnamon candies, mini-marshmallows, coconut, frosting in various colors and sprinkles. (Make sure none of your students has allergies to any of the food items.)

Cookies Ready for the Oven
Let each student decorate one or two cookies at a time on the wax paper or on a paper plate. Read the class a poem or story while each student eats one of the cookies. Provide resealable plastic bags so students can take their other cookie and recipe card home. Make sure names are on the bags.

You might want to provide water to drink and napkins or paper towels to keep hands and desks clean. Give each student a wet wipe to clean off his area of the table or desk when the cookies are finished.

Holiday Pastries

Read more . . .

Questions about how Excel Math lessons work? Leave a comment below.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Excel Math: Calming the Frenzy Over Fractions

Excel Math Lesson on Fractions
Fractions have always been a nemesis for students and teachers alike.

Now with new standards, the emphasis on fractions is even greater than before.

Students are expected to master fractions sooner than ever, and Excel Math is here to help!

In Excel Math lessons, fractions are introduced in clear and concise language, starting with Grade 1 and continuing in complexity through Grade 6.

See an example of an Excel Math lesson on fractions above.

Following the brief lesson, students are given a chance to work with fractions while the teacher is nearby, ready to help those who need assistance. Fractions on a number line are now introduced to give students a visual image of how fractions are ordered.

Fractions on a Number Line

Consumable pages give students lots of opportunities to practice the math problems.

Excel Math's unique CheckAnswer system lets students self assess so they can discover and correct most mistakes on their own.

During Guided Practice, students can call on a teacher to help them when they run into difficulty.

After two weeks of practice, fractions are included as homework. A week or two later, fractions finally show up on the weekly test.

By this time, students are very familiar with fractions.

Repetition helps get fractions into long-term memory, which builds student confidence and success in math — including success on these new assessments.

As a result, Excel Math students are testing off the charts in mathematics.

Read more . . .

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Excel Math Helps Students Raise Test Scores

Prediction: Half of math students will not meet
grade-level proficiency marks this spring

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium today announced cut scores for its spring test, and released data projecting that more than half of students will not meet grade-level-proficiency marks in mathematics on its test this spring.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is a group that is designing assessments for the Common Core State Standards.

Since many students are not doing well on Common Core pretests, it is easy to see why parents and teachers may be getting nervous about how well their students will do on these assessments.

Even so, Excel Math lessons continue to build student confidence and success in math— including success on these new assessments. As a result, Excel Math students are testing off the charts in mathematics.

Here's what one mom wrote to tell us:

"My children have been using Excel Math Standard Edition at home for the last year to supplement the math curriculum they have at school (which isn't very effective). This year they took the Common Core Math pretest for the first time. We had been warned that our children would probably not score very well on these tests.
However, my fourth grader scored 83% and my third grader (who is not a math genius) scored 98%!
When people asked me if he was a math whiz, I had to tell them, "Not at all. It was the Excel Math Lesson Sheets!"
— Wendy Ullrich, grateful parent

Parents across the country are discovering that Excel Math lessons help students retain concepts into long-term memory so they can recall those concepts when assessed. Other math lessons can't even compare. As a result, Excel Math students are scoring well on Iowa Basic Skills Tests, Texas STAAR tests and even Common Core pretests!

Read more . . .

Questions about how Excel Math lessons work? Leave a comment below.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Word Problems for Math Storytelling Day


September 25 is celebrated as Math Storytelling Day. On this day, those of us who love math can have fun making up and sharing math-related stories.

Stories can involve puzzles, logic problems, brain teasers, human relationships—just about anything, as long as math is involved.

Excel Math lessons not only include math word problems, but also more in-depth Create A Problem stories with math problems that are created by the students. 
Here's one you can use to challenge your students with today.
Click on the image title below to try it out for yourself.
Grade 3 Excel Math Create A Problem (Click here to download)

In the Excel Math Teacher Editions you'll also find brainteasers and logic story problems called Stretches.

These problems can be written on the board and left up all day for students to solve. Here's an example of a Stretch:

Carl is a carpenter who makes wooden stools. He has 10 stools. Some are three-legged and some are four-legged stools. They have a total of 36 legs. How many four-legged and three-legged stools does Carl have? (The answer is given below.)

And we'll end with a famous math riddle:

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats.
Every cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?
The answer is one! Only "I" was going to St. Ives. The others were people he met along the way.

Read more . . .

Questions about how Excel Math lessons work? Leave a comment below.

Stretch Answer: Carl has 4 three-legged stools and 6 four-legged stools

For more Storytelling Day ideas, see our previous blog post: Storytelling Day Ideas for the Math Classroom

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students with

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Math Placement Tests: Off to a Great Start!

For over 35 years Excel Math has been helping students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 build solid math skills.

Did you know?

Excel Math provides grade level evaluation tools in English and in Spanish to help you determine where each student should begin with the program. These easy-to-use placement tests can be combined with basic fact skills tests to assess your students' readiness for math.

Use the placement tests to determine where a student should start in the Excel Math program.

Each Placement Test file contains six tests that evaluate a student's preparedness for Excel Math Grades 1 - 6.

Instructions for using the tests are included. 

Just send us an email when you're ready for the answers and we'll send them to you.

Read more . . .

Questions about how Excel Math lessons work? Leave a comment below.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Back to (Math) Basics

For over 35 years Excel Math has been helping students build solid math skills. And those rigorous math lessons continue to help students succeed today

In Excel Math our Student Lesson Sheets include a section called Basic Fact Practice. Students complete these problems after the Lesson section and before the Guided Practice (unless you choose to use these problems as bell work).

Excel Math Student Lesson Sheet with Basic Fact Practice

In this way, basic math facts are practiced regularly. Students have a chance to get basic facts into their long-term memory and continue reviewing them throughout the year.

The Basic Fact Practice portion of the Student Lesson Sheet can be used as a way to start your math period or as bell work so students are on task the minute they enter the classroom. The problems will be fairly easy at first (helping students build confidence) but will increase in difficulty during the year. Excel Math gives students a chance to practice basic facts for several weeks before we ask them to use those facts in complex problems.

Basic Fact Practice is included on the Excel Math Projectable Lesson CDs. The facts can be projected onto a white board or wall so the class can focus together on the problems. The first slide shows the problems and the next slide shows the problems with the answers in red. You can use this section as a daily timed quiz or read the problems aloud before projecting them for aural practice of basic math facts.

Download a Basic Math Fact Practice worksheet from our website: http://www.excelmath.com/downloads/manipulatives.html

Or try our Online Timed Fact Practice:
http://excelmath.com/practice.html

Choose the Excel Math lessons that best fit your students' needs and let us send you a sample:

Common Core Editions—written to guide teachers and students through the new Common Core Standards. Teacher Editions include quarterly test tables that show the CCS concepts covered and in which lesson they were initially taught. See Common Core samples . . .

Texas Editions—a smooth transition to the new TEKS, introducing the new math skills now required at each grade level with our unique spiraling approach to get those concepts into your students' long-term memory. Texas Teacher Editions include quarterly test tables that show the TEKS concepts covered and in which lesson they were initially taught. See Texas samples . . .

Standard Excel Math Editions—our proven lessons with new teacher tips and online resources. Teacher friendly lessons and student successes make it a good fit for any classroom or homeschool situation. See Excel Math Standard Edition samples . . .

Questions about how Excel Math lessons work? Leave a comment below.

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