Additional Math Pages & Resources

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 . . .

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

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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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Friday, August 15, 2014

ALL Students Can Succeed with Excel Math!

In a recent blog post from Edutopia, Jennifer Bay-Williams, mathematics teacher educator at the University of Louisville, shares three lessons she hopes pre-service teachers in her mathematics methods course will take away from the class. 

Some of her suggestions are already written into Excel Math lessons for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.

Her tips include:
  • engaging students in challenging tasks
  • using higher-level questions in the classroom and 
  • tailoring instruction to students' specific needs. 
Read more: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/takeaways-math-methods-teach-effectively-jennifer-bay-williams
Excel Math gives teachers at all grade levels from Kindergarten through Grade ) the ability to tailor instruction to student's needs. (We'll take a look at the the other tips in future blog posts.)

Here's what one teacher wrote to tell us:

For me, the key difference your Excel Math program offers is the consumable worksheets with CheckAnswers. This cultivates three key aspects of my classes that no one else can match.

The first part is increased rigor which is one of the three key Common Core shifts. Copying out of the book or from the front board is a low level skill that wastes time and promotes errors. My students spend zero time doing that. They go right to thinking and solving problems. Issues with penmanship and such are no longer a problem using your system resulting in more time spent on thinking and learning. The CheckAnswers further promote this rigor because students are immediately forced to confront their thinking and errors such that they have a limited clue as to the correct outcome. My students typically grow in their ability to persevere (CCSS Math Practice 1) as a result of this.
—Dana Menck, Vista Middle School, Van Nuys, California

With Excel Math lessons, mastery is not expected during the initial lesson where a concept is first introduced. 

For this reason, students have a chance to retain the concept for the long term as they practice it over the next few days and weeks during Guided Practice and Homework. After a couple of weeks, the concept finally turns up on an assessment. But Excel Math lessons don't stop there! That same concept will continue to spiral throughout the curriculum during the remainder of the year. 

Here's an example of what educators are telling us about how well the spiraling process in Excel Math works for their students:

“Our teachers, students and parents love Excel Math. Excel Math has provided an incredible boost to our math test scores and has given the students the confidence to successfully solve math problems. The review (spiraling) format assures that concepts learned are practiced throughout the year. We will keep making Excel Math an essential part of our Math curriculum.”


—Principal Villar, John Logan Elementary School, California
 Here's a diagram showing how this spiraling process works into the Excel Math program:


The school year spiraling strategy is broken down into a weekly spiraling strategy of each concept. As a result, student retain math concepts for the long term. Because concepts gradually build on each other, students experience success with learning math. Students begin to feel confident about their math skills as they discover, "I can do this!"

 http://www.excelmath.com/downloads/spiralingstrategy.pdf
Download a copy of our Spiraling Strategy from our website: http://www.excelmath.com/downloads/spiralingstrategy.pdf

Share your own math success  story with us by filling out the comment box below.

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