This post is slightly different today, as I describe the numbers involved in my

*, not my*

**job***. I got a letter from a visitor to our Excel Math website. She posed a fascinating and very reasonable question:*

**real life**

*QUESTION: I used Excel Math 10 years ago and it had 175 lessons per year. We are looking at Excel Math again, and wondered - what was cut out to bring it down to 155 lessons?*Sheesh. You have to remember that to a teacher,

**Cutting Stuff Out**is not always a good thing. Especially when it comes to books.

Could this be a

*"when did you stop beating your wife?"*sort of question?

I wasn't sure, but reasoning that the facts (numbers) were my best defense, I responded like this:

**ANSWER: You are getting a similar amount of material, assembled in a different way:***All of the Excel Math grades have 155 lessons for 31 weeks of instruction**We don't provide homework on Fridays, so we created longer, in-depth lessons on Fridays, occupying the Homework space**Grades 2-6 have 30 tests which formerly appeared on the back of Lesson Sheets but they are now on their own pages**On the back of 24 tests are "Create A Problems" which assess students' higher-level thinking and reasoning skills; they**delve into concepts not easily managed in regular lessons**We provide 12-24 activities or exercises, introducing kids to measuring, reasoning, graphing, research projects, and so on.*

*ANSWER: We've added handy features, such as:**Glossaries of Math Terms cross-referenced to the lessons in which a word is introduced**Test Question Concept Tables indicate on which lesson we taught a concept, so you can support students who didn't master that part of the curriculum content**Projectable Lessons so you can put a lesson up on a screen while you present it to the class*

**ANSWER: There are other changes:***We simplified some of the layout of the pages**We put the answers in different type fonts, so they are easier for the teacher to read**We "show the work" so teachers can instruct without having to do calculations themselves**We gave the students a bit more room to write their answers**We reduced the amount of space used for practicing basic math facts**We reduced the number of problems teachers were expected to read aloud to the class**We put in all the modern quarters, nickels, other coins and paper currency**We tightened up the writing in the Lesson Plans and instructional material**We improved our description of and teaching of probability**We adjusted our subject matter content to meet state standards**We adjusted our "social content" and "political correctness"*

**ANSWER: I counted on our master spreadsheet for the last grade we updated:***we removed 44 lessons, all repeats on previously-taught subjects**we added 21 lessons, mostly new topics and/or repeats on other difficult subjects**we added 36 bonus exercises and activities**we provided about 7500 total problems (in Lessons, Guided Practice, Homework and Tests)*

Click to enlarge |

*"And so Your Honor, I think the numbers will show that I never actually started beating my wife..."*