Additional Math Pages & Resources

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics—we've got you covered!

Oklahoma flag
For the past year or more, Oklahoma and other states have been updating their academic standards for K-6 mathematics.

And Excel Math lessons are ready to meet those updates.

Excel Math provides correlations to Common Core Standards and State Standards designed to support teachers, team leaders, department chairs, curriculum directors, and administrators as they select, recommend, pilot, adopt, or review math materials.

Excel Math lessons are aligned to the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics.

Oklahoma also provides a handy AtAGlance Guide designed to succinctly identify new and changed concepts at each grade level.

Standards and objectives that are not listed are done so intentionally as they were deemed to be more similar than not to existing grade level PASS objectives.

Excel Math correlations to Oklahoma standards include the critical gaps students need to cover this year. Download Grade 3 correlations here.

Excel Math lessons cover those critical gaps and also review concepts introduced in the previous grade level.

Students have a chance to get up to speed with previous concepts before tackling new ones. Download Common Core samples of Excel Math materials. 

You can download the complete Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics at http://sde.ok.gov/sde/oklahoma-academic-standards

Visit us online to download Excel Math correlations to these new Oklahoma standards for Grades 3 and 4.

Additional grade level correlations will be added as they are completed.

Here's what one Oklahoma teacher told us:

"I've used Excel Math for many years … and loved it! I was nominated and won Teacher of the Year for my school campus, Hoover Elementary. I completely believe this happened because of the EXCELlent Math program you provide!!! Thank you so very much!!
— Susan Vilar, Grade 4 Teacher, Oklahoma
Excel Math is proven in a supplement or core position. A summer school/intersession edition is also available for grades K - 7.

Visit us online to download Common Core samples of Excel Math materials. 

Click on the colored grade level bars to begin your download and see the Scope & Sequence for the full year: http://excelmath.com/downloads/state_stds.html
Texas Sample Lessons
We also have TEKS-aligned materials for our Texas customers. Take a look at the amazing results students in Texas are seeing when they use Excel Math.

Test scores rise, even after the first year using Excel Math, and they continue to go up!

View Texas lessons on our website:
http://excelmath.com/downloads/state_stdsTX.html
If you decide to get started with Excel Math now, download our Strategies for Mid-Year Success document. 

These helpful tips and best practices will get your students building math success from Day 1!

Questions? Call us at 866-866-7026

Leave a comment in the box below to let us know how your state standards have impacted your math teaching. 

If you're currently using Excel Math with your students, tell us how it works for you. We love hearing from educators around the country and welcome any feedback you may have.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

6 Steps to Mid-Year Math Success

Beginning a new math program mid-year can be a challenge!

It can be just as challenging to receive new students in January or February or even later in the school year.

Here are a few ways Excel Math can help you prepare your students for spring testing:

1. Use the Excel Math Placement Tests. 

Excel Math provides FREE Placement Tests to help you determine where your new students should begin in math.

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

The tests are labeled A - F, which correspond to first through sixth grade. Instructions for using the tests are included.

Save the test to your computer and print it for each student.

Download the test (in English or Spanish) from our web store: excelmath.myshopify.com 

2. Give Immediate Feedback.

After students turn in an assignment for most classes, they usually have to wait a day or two to find out whether they were on track and did the work correctly.

In that brief amount of time, students can easily forget why they made the mistakes they did. And since they haven't yet discovered where or why those mistakes occurred, they keep making mistakes again and again as they complete their homework.

As a result, the mistakes continue and bad habits begin to form.

With Excel Math, students get immediate feedback so they can easily correct their mistakes switch gears and start tackling math problems correctly.

Dr. Janice Raymond, the author of Excel Math lessons, incorporated a natural feedback loop with the unique CheckAnswer system. The CheckAnswer lets students see immediately where they've made mistakes and gives them a chance to correct those errors on their own in the daily Guided Practice and Homework.

As a result, students are encouraged to solve the problems, show their work, check their answers, and then go back and fix any errors they've made.

Students don't have wait until the next day to find out which problems they've missed. Read more in our previous post.

3. Be Flexible.

Excel Math is designed to be flexible! You may find there is more material each week than you can use, especially if you count in field trips and school holidays.

Use your own judgment to work through the lessons in their entirety or move quickly through a few days of lessons if your class is comfortable with the concepts.

On those days, let your students spend more time on the Guided Practice portion so they can review a number of different concepts.

Students who finish quickly can tackle the Stretch problem (brainteaser) in the Teacher Edition or continue with Basic Fact Practice.

We do not recommend jumping around the lessons in a different order, as all the lessons build upon one another.

Download additional Classroom Suggestions here.

4. Use the Test Tables for Assessment.

Excel Math tests are cumulative. There is a test after every five lessons in Grades 1 - 6.

The test tables located in the Teacher Edition indicate the concept covered by each test question and the lesson numbers where each concept was taught.

After your students complete each test, use the tables to see where they need more review and practice.

Use the Score Distribution Charts to see if the class as a whole would benefit from reviewing some concepts together.

5. Download our FREE Guide to Math Success.

If you begin using Excel Math mid-year, be sure to download our Strategies for Mid-Year Success.

This step-by-step guide will help you and your class get off to a running start with Excel Math.

Try these easy-to-follow strategies from experienced educators designed to help you build student success in math.

Also visit our website for lots of free resources and teacher helps: www.excelmath.com

6. If you have questions, we are just a phone call away. 

Call us at 1-866-866-7513 Monday - Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (West Coast time) and a friendly person will be glad to start you on the road to success using Excel Math!

You may also like these articles:
A Crossword a Day . . .  
It's Super Moon! 
Happy 40th Anniversary, Excel Math!Happy 40th Anniversary, Excel Math!  
Take a Hike  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A crossword a day...

December 21st marks Crossword Puzzle Day. Yes, that’s right, a day devoted to the celebration of crossword puzzles. It is a day when folks, or cruciverbalists if you will, around the world train and compete to finish a crossword in record time.

Crossword puzzleArthur Wynne, a journalist from Liverpool, is credited for creating the first known published crossword puzzle. It appeared in the December 21, 1913 Sunday edition of the New York World newspaper. Solving crosswords quickly became a favorite pastime. Within a decade crossword puzzles appeared in almost all American newspapers.

Here at Excel Math we appreciate a day dedicated to sharpening our minds and improving our problem-solving skills. For grades 2-6, Excel Math lessons include brain teasers that we call Stretches. Stretches can include logic puzzles, word problems, or any creative puzzle that helps children really stretch their imaginations.

Excel Math Stretch
Excel Math Stretch for 3rd Grade
Similar to the way a crossword puzzle is a fun exercise to keep your brain sharp, Stretches can help keep your student's mind in tip-top shape!

Here's what teachers and administrators are saying about Excel Math:
"I love Excel Math...it has helped me become a stronger math teacher, and I KNOW it has increased my students' confidence in math (and their test scores!)."
— Anne Evans, Idaho Teacher
boys writing math problems
Students working on math problems
Try your hand at a daily crossword puzzle from dictionary.com or any other online puzzle source.

If your students have access to the internet, they can give it go. Another fun site is free-training-tutorial.com/crossword!

Join us on December 21st and let's sharpen our minds together! Try Excel Math for yourself and visit our online shop at excelmath.com

You may also like these articles:
Fall Bulletin Boards for the Math Classroom
5 Secrets to Success with Math
Happy 40th Anniversary, Excel Math!
Perseid Outburst—Showers of Stars

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Take a Hike in November!

Lake Tahoe with the family
It's National Take a Hike Day, celebrated each year on November 17. And since this is also the 100th year celebration of our National Parks, hiking is a wonderful way to join the celebration and simultaneously explore some of the spectacular outdoor places our country has to offer.

This photo was taken at Lake Tahoe, where the Baker family enjoyed a camping trip filled with water sports, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

Big Pine Lake hiking
Big Pine Lake is another beautiful place to hike in California, and now that we have some cooler weather (at times), hiking can be a fun way to see the fall colors and shuffle through the leaves.
The scent of pine brings memories of holidays and anticipating fun times with family and friends.

At Excel Math, we include word problems to help students tackle real-world problems. Here's a word problem from our Grade 3 Student Lesson Sheets:
Mr. Park went on a hike. He saw 8 deer.
That was 7 fewer than the number of
rabbits he saw. He saw 3 more hawks
than rabbits. How many hawks did he see?
Excel Math lessons merge math with literacy in our Create A Problem exercises. These in-depth story problems give students an opportunity to use higher-level thinking skills and begin to write and solve their own word problems as their math skills progress. Take a look at sample Create A Problems for Grades 2-6.

Cowles Mountain Summit
Here's a photo of the summit of Cowles Mountain in San Diego, a very popular hiking spot for residents and visitors alike.

You can catch just a small glimpse of the 360ยบ views from this photo. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Coronado Islands in Mexico.

Read more about Cowles Mountain and the various hiking trails in our blog posts from several years ago: Take a Hike, Part 1 and then get out and walk your neighborhood.

Be sure to stop by the Mission Trails Visitors' Center just down the road to see local artwork and the interactive exhibits that explain the native culture as well as the plants and animals you may encounter on your hike.

Mission San Luis Rey Rose Garden
Find a friend and try a new neck of the woods to explore on foot. Use the comments box below to let us know some of your favorite hiking spots.

If you prefer a less strenuous stroll, the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside has some beautiful gardens, complete with benches that offer a place to rest and smell the aroma of roses.

Certain times of year they also have rooms available for travelers to stay, providing a quiet respite away from the hectic pace of day to day activities and stress.

Huntington Beach
Traveling around the diverse state of California, there are beaches around every corner along the coast.

Here's a picturesque view of Huntington Beach, where families gather for a meal after a busy day in the water. In the evenings, dinner is followed by s'mores around the fire pits after the sun has set.

Walking or jogging along the beach with the warm wind at your back can be a completely different experience a few weeks later when you walk that same beach in the midst of a downpour. Both are wonderful experiences!

Sunset at Torrey Pines State Park
A cold, brisk day at the beach when the crowds have stayed home is a great opportunity to walk along the sand and enjoy the restless waves, the sea spray, and the solitude.

Sunsets over the water give a totally new perspective to the same beach that may have been crowded and noisy in the bright light of daytime, just a few hours earlier.

This photo was taken at Torrey Pines State Park.

The many hiking trails above the beach give families a chance to see some of the habitat native to Southern California up close and personal.

Torrey Pines State Beach
Many of the plants and trees are labeled. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes instead of flip-flops.

Many of the paths and steps take you from the beach up to the scenic views shown in these photos.

Take a Hike Day gives you a great excuse to get outdoors and explore the beautiful areas of your own city and state.

But really, no excuse is needed to walk your neighborhood, your hiking trails, and learn about the history of the place you call home. Every day can be a wonderful time to take a hike!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

It's Super Moon!

For the first time in 78 years, we'll have an opportunity to see a supermoon that is traveling extremely close to the earth.

On Sunday or Monday, November 13 or 14, grab a friend and a telescope and enjoy  this rare treat.

You won't see another like this moon for decades!

Read more about this event at Nationalgeographic.com

For those of us in North America, the moon is closer to full on the night of November 13.

The moon turns precisely full on November 14, 2016 at 1352 UTC. This full moon instant will happen in the morning hours before sunrise in western North America and the Pacific islands (to the east of the International Date Line).

The moon will look full and bright all night long on both nights – November 13 and 14 – as it rises in the east around sunset, climbs highest up around midnight, and then sets in the west at or near sunset.

With Excel Math, students learn about astronomy, our solar system, and the world around them. They also learn math concepts for long-term retention.

Excel Math's unique spiraling system reinforces learning, builds proficiency, and develops student confidence in math.

Word problems are included in Excel Math Guided Practice as well as throughout the lessons and homework. Here's a word problem from Excel Math Grade 3:

The distance from the earth to the moon can be measured in_____________.
a. grams
b. pints
c. kilometers
Excel Math goes beyond these basic word problems to teach students how to solve more in-depth story problems, called Create A Problem. 

These Create A Problem exercises begin in Grade 2 to help students develop higher-level problem solving skills.

Students are challenged to read a larger section of text, write problems, and solve their own story problems, merging math with literacy.

Here's an example of a Create A Problem exercise from Grade 4. Since this page is from the Teacher Edition, the answers are show in bold. Click on the image for a larger view.
How do you help your student build success in math for the long term? Will some of them be watching the supermoon this week?

You may also like these articles:

Tips & Tricks for Success with Math

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5 Secrets to Success with Math

Happy 40th Anniversary, Excel Math!Perseid Outburst—Showers of Stars

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thank You, Teachers!

October 5 is World Teachers' Day. Each year since 1996 teachers around the world have been celebrated on this day for the role they play in providing quality education to students at all levels.

The Philippines holds the longest celebration for teachers in the world — from September 5 to October 5.

However, 7 out of 10 countries don't have enough primary teachers for their children.

In countries like Chad, a lower secondary education is all it takes to become a primary teacher. Even so, only 35% of teachers in the classroom meet this minimum standard.

Today we could use about 2.7 million teachers to provide every child in the world with a primary education. By 2030 that number is expected to increase to 25.8 million!


In Kentucky, Boyle County schools will start their celebration of teachers on October 3. They will be celebrating the success of their teachers with a potluck, a special recognition ceremony and a surprise video. They plan to recognize teachers and their accomplishments with letters and video commentary from administration and students about the impact their teachers have  had on the students.

This week is a good time to recognize those teachers in our own lives—past and present.

Here at Excel Math, every day gives us a chance to recognize teachers. Click on the card below to download a copy for yourself or to send to a colleague.

We want to thank teachers for the time and effort you spend nurturing, educating and challenging students. We appreciate you. You are amazing!

Click to download this card