Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Steps to Solving Word Problems

Some students struggle with word problems, not sure where to begin with finding the correct operation to use. Here are a few Excel Math tips to get your students started down the road to success with solving word problems:

It may help to have your students read the problem aloud, just to make sure they are reading it correctly.

2. Underline the important information.
Use a red or blue pen to underline the information (or highlight it) so it doesn't get lost on the page:
Jon picked one apple. Danny picked 5 apples. Together they picked how many apples?

3. What process will you use to get the answer?
Will you use addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or a combination of all four?
Our apple example will use addition. The key word here is together they picked how many?

4. Write and solve a number sentence and label the answer.
It may also help to draw a picture or use counters to represent the problem.

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May Day Teacher Appreciation

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Memories

Happy Mother's Day to our favorite moms and grandmothers!

Feel free to send your mom or the mother figure in your life a special Mother's Day e-card courtesy of Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/10/mothers-day-e-card_n_5302554.html

In her post, Arianna tells a story (about her mom) very similar to one that happened to me. I sang in our church choir with a sweet older lady in her 80s with a wonderful sense of humor—Edith. I was in my 20s and Edith had traveled all over the world with her husband. She had lots of china sets, punch bowls, antique furniture, screens from China, etc. One evening at choir I admired her necklace and she took it off and gave it to me! I so surprised, I tried to say no thanks, but she wouldn't hear of it.

A few years later, Edith joined my mom and family for Easter dinner. We had a wonderful time with family and friends. I had just become engaged and my fiancee and I were picking out our china and other wedding registry items. I really liked a simple china pattern with a thin gold line around white plates. After Easter, Edith invited me over to her house and gave us a wedding gift of a cut crystal punch bowl with an assortment of cups plus china service for 14! The china was the exact pattern I was planning to register for, and it was carefully packed in quilted china keepers. What a blessing she was to a young couple starting out without much of anything.

We still use that china to this day for Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and whenever we have a large group of guests. I always share the story of my dear friend Edith who gave us such a special and long-lasting gift. This fall my husband and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary and the china will continue to be a major part of our family birthday dinners and holiday celebrations.

Although Edith and our moms are no longer with us, the impact they made on our lives and the legacy of love, kindness and hospitality they left with us continues to live on.

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"

This week, be sure to thank those special ladies in your life. I'll be doing the same!

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May Day Teacher Appreciation
Excel Math: TEKS Aligned and STAAR Ready
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Excel Math: Powerful in a Core or Supplement Position
Top-Notch Math Lessons for Transitional Kindergarten

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day Teacher Appreciation

 Excel Math Poster
Happy May Day!

Here in the United States during the month of May we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Month. Our hats go off to all the educators (including parents) who devote their time and energy (and finances) to helping students become life-long learners. Thank you, from the entire Excel Math team!

We appreciate educators

At Excel Math,  we appreciate teachers! That's why we provide lots of free teacher helps and resources on our website.

And it's why we continually update our math lessons to provide teachers with the best and most current materials possible.

Whether you're looking for ideas to teach math to the Common Core Standards, materials aligned to the new TEKS (Texas Knowledge and Skills) or simply effective math lessons that get concepts into students' long-term memory, Excel Math just may be your solution. Our unique spiraling process plus proven teaching techniques combined with hand-on mathematics activities get students excited about learning math. Read what teachers and administrators are saying . . .

Here are a few little-known facts about teachers:
• 91% of teachers buy supplies for their own classrooms using their own money. All those crayons, pencils, and paper add up to \$1.5 billion spent annually by teachers on school supplies.
• 67% of teachers buy snacks for their students to help with basic nutrition
- See more at: http://www.sheerid.com/national-teacher-appreciation-month/#sthash.Pw1QTVQ2.dpuf
Or send it to a colleague with a note of appreciation for the ways he or she brings beauty into the lives of children.
Why do teachers deserve a whole month of devotion and gratitude? We’re glad you asked. Here are a few little-known facts about teachers:
• 91% of teachers buy supplies for their own classrooms using their own money. All those crayons, pencils, and paper add up to \$1.5 billion spent annually by teachers on school supplies.
• 67% of teachers buy snacks for their students to help with basic nutrition
• 29% of teachers buy bathroom products for students like toilet paper and toothbrushes
Teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a vocation. Teachers spend countless hours and money from their own pockets to prepare our children for the future. At the very least they deserve a thank you once a year. One of the best ways that business owners can show their appreciation for the hard work teachers do is to offer teachers an exclusive discount or special offer like free shipping or free returns.
- See more at: http://www.sheerid.com/national-teacher-appreciation-month/#sthash.Pw1QTVQ2.dpuf
“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody (a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns) bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

— Thurgood Marshall