Additional Math Pages & Resources

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Big Ben's Birthday and Telling Time

On May 31, 1859 Big Ben went into operation in London. Located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen's Tower, this clock tower rang out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.

In October 1834, after a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster—the headquarters of the British Parliament—one feature of the design for the new palace was a large clock on top of a tower. The royal astronomer, Sir George Airy, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, including twice-a-day checks with the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
Big Ben, London, England

While many clockmakers saw this goal as impossible, Airy counted on the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a lawyer known for his expertise in the science of measuring time.

What seemed impossible became a reality less than 25 years later. Read more at 

This weekend, Big Ben will celebrate it's 156th birthday!

With Excel Math lessons, students learn to tell time using a variety of digital and analog clocks.

Take a look at this large online clock developed by Mark Cogan to help students see the current time on an analog or digital clock and then click a button to see the time it will be in 1 hour, 1 minute, 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes:

You could have each student make their own clock with movable hands, match the computer clock for the current time, then change their clock to show the time it will be in 1 hour and click the button on the computer clock to check their answers. Play with two students on one computer so they can see who can get the most correct answers (or who can do it fastest).

You can also have the students change the time on the clock and then set their own clock for 1 hour later, click the button on the computer clock to check their answers, and continue playing, alternating who gets to choose the new "start" time.
Inca Clock

For more clock games, check out the following:

Read more . . .

You may also enjoy these articles:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Burger Math

Since May 28 is National Hamburger Day, try a little burger math with your students. Begin by talking about meatless options to the traditional hamburger such as veggie burgers. Also mention bread-free options to hamburger buns such as lettuce wraps. Then give your students some burger math to solve.

If you have 2 pounds of hamburger, how many burgers can you make if you use 1/4 pound of meat for each burger? (8)

If you want to feed 4 people, how many burgers could each person have? (2) If you make each burger 1/3 pound how many burgers could you make? (6)

Have your students look online to find the cost of 8 hamburger buns and one head of lettuce. Ask the students to find out if it would be less expensive to serve the burgers on buns or lettuce wraps.

If your students have learned to calculate cost per unit, ask them to find out how much one pound of turkey would cost if 5 pounds costs $20.50. ($4.10)

Let your students take a survey of which burgers, sandwiches or toppings their classmates prefer and then make a bar graph showing how many students prefer veggie burgers, hamburgers, turkey burgers, hotdogs, cheeseburgers, hamburger wraps, veggie wraps, etc. Which type of food do most of the students prefer? Which is the class' least favorite?

Give your students a few more food word problems to solve:
Caleb bought 3 pounds of pears,
2 pounds of oranges, 4 pounds
of apples and 5 pounds of carrots.
How many pounds of fruit did he buy? (9)

Andy has 5 eggs, 8 apples
and 2 pears. How many
more apples than eggs does he have? (3)
Here's a problem from the Excel Math Grade 3 Guided Practice:

How many cookies did
Brian and Anna bake? (75)

How many more cookies will
Paige have to bake to equal
what Jose has baked? (25)

Help your students explain their problem-solving strategies as they work through these problems.

Give each student 8 gummy bears or goldfish crackers. (Make sure no students have allergies to these food items.) Ask the student how many they would have if you gave them 3 red gummy bears plus two yellow bears. (13)

Then ask the students to each eat two of their bears or crackers and tell you how many they have left. (6)

Finally, let your students make up some of their own word problems about food and then solve them. Excel Math lessons include lots of practice with word problems of increasing complexity as well as our unique Create A Problem exercises that merge math with literacy.

New to Excel Math? Take a look at the lessons for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade plus lots of math resources at

You might also like these articles:

Higher Order Math Word Problems

Calming the Frenzy Over Fractions

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Higher Order Math Word Problems

New standards ask students to solve higher order word problems and begin to explain their thinking as they look for the answers.

Here's a word problem from one of our Excel Math lessons to help students calculate the cost of a day of roller skating.

Feel free to share it with your students. The answers are shown in red.

Excel Math lessons provide lots of opportunities for students to solve word problems and even write their own!

Excel Math features indepth word problems called Create A Problem.

The Create A Problem pages in Excel Math give students a chance to merge math with literacy as they create their own story problems and solve them. Here's an example of a Create A Problem exercise for Grade 2.

This feature lets students express their own understanding of a story problem, explore various problem-solving techniques, finish longer story problems, and eventually write their own problems.

Create A Problem exercises are included on the back of the test pages for Grades 2 - 6.

The right-hand side of the page will usually provide activities for the students to complete and problems for them to solve from the story.

We start with simple stories and give students a chance to observe what is happening in the story.

They then use those observations to solve problems.

Later in the curriculum we ask students to create a problem or two, and make up their own CheckAnswer.

The stories become more involved as the students progress through the year. These exercises provide a great way for students to begin to verbalize the problem-solving strategies they use and to hear how their classmates solve the same problem.

Read more . . .

Take a look at grade level samples from the Excel Math program through our web store:

You may also like these articles:

Friday, May 15, 2015

San Diego Bike to Work Day Postponed

Bike to Work Day 2015 has been postponed in San Diego due to rain! It will be rescheduled for May 29. (Yes, we're a bit wimpy.) In other parts of the country where rain falls more frequently, people are used to biking in the rain.

Here in San Diego, we have safety concerns and many areas with no bike lanes.

We also have drivers of cars and trucks who don't know how to drive safely in rain. Because it rains so seldom here, the roads get especially slick during the first day or two of rainfall. The small amounts of rain we get are just not enough to wash away the buildup on our roads.

When drivers either go over the speed limit as if the roads were dry or slow way down to a crawl in the rain and then don't leave enough room before the car in front of them to make a sudden stop, traffic accidents are guaranteed.
By 6:00 a.m. this morning, there were already accidents, cars turned over, and cars sliding off the road on most of the major freeways in San Diego county.

Since May is National Bike month, the local organizers decided to postpone Bible to Work Day for a couple of weeks and reschedule those vendors signed up to provide pit stops for the bikers that day. They still plan to have over 100 pit stops throughout the county with everything from free drinks and t-shirts to snacks and protein bars.

In San Diego you can visit this website for more information and to get pit stop updates:

You can also read more about Bike to Work Day  and download some safety resources for parents on our previous post: Bike to Work: Get Moving with Math!

Here's a picture we captured of a double rainbow outside the Excel Math office.

New to Excel Math? visit our website to learn more:

Ready to place an order? Visit our web store and let us pay your shipping on orders over $60 placed today and paid within 30 days:

You may also like these articles:

Bike to Work: Get Moving with Math!

Using Number Lines in the Math Class

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bike to Work: Get Moving with Math!

Friday, May 15 is Bike to Work Day and across the country, workers are getting their bikes ready. Bike to Work Day is a nationally recognized event, celebrated each year on the third Friday in May.

Biking to work is a great way to save money and get fit at the same time!

Some communities are setting up pit stops with snacks and free T-shirts for participants.
In San Diego you can visit this website for more information and to get pit stop updates:

This website also provides bike maps from around San Diego county and lets you log your trips and calculate your savings.

A 2014 Kaiser Permanente study urges less sitting and  more moving. The study found that men who sit more than 5 hours outside of work develop heart failure at a rate 36% higher than those who keep moving. Even if you exercise every day, being a couch potato and sitting too much can increase your risk of heart failure.
Men who sit for more than 5 hours a day outside of work develop heart failure at a rate 36 percent higher than those who do not - See more at:
Men who sit for more than 5 hours a day outside of work develop heart failure at a rate 36 percent higher than those who do not - See more at:

Read more about the study's results at

We can encourage our students to get up and move, too. Since 1983, May has been observed as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.Take a look at some ideas for movement, fitness and healthy eating at

Download a Teacher Toolkit and read more . . .

New to Excel Math? Learn more on our website:

You may also enjoy these articles about fitness:
National Fitness Month: Get Moving with Math

Take a Hike, Part 1

Staying Fit Over the Summer Break
Pumpkin Math: Addition

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Excel Math has moved from Enstore

Visit Excel Math at our new web store location:

The Excel Math online store is no longer hosted by Enstore. We've moved from and we're now hosted by Shopify.

You can order Excel Math materials, read our latest blog posts and teacher tips, check prices for Excel Math products, sign up for special offers, and take a look at samples of our lessons on our new store website:
Excel Math Grade 6 Teacher Edition

Excel Math now offers three Teacher versions:
Common Core
Texas (TEKS aligned—STAAR Ready)
Standard Edition (Non Common Core)

Click on the title of your choice to go to that section of our Shopify web store. You'll find the same high quality customer service you've come to expect from our Enstore website, but with new and improved features.

For example, if you need to leave your cart without checking out, we'll save it for you. Simply log back in (or give us a call) and we'll send you your filled cart so you don't have to remember what you were ordering.

Ready to place an order or just check out our new website? Visit our new Excel Math web store.

Our physical building (pictured at left) has not changed. We've only moved our web store. Saying goodbye to Enstore after five years is not easy.

However, we have made some improvements to our new web store to make your shopping experience easier than ever.

Excellent customer service is our goal. We love hearing from parents, teachers and administrators from around the country, and welcome any suggestions or feedback you may have.

Feel free to leave a comment in the "Comment" box below if you have questions. Include your phone number if you would like us to give you a call.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thank You, Teachers!

We appreciate teachers!

Here's a heart-felt thank-you letter to teachers from a student, Lexi Herrick:
"This letter is for the teachers who touch lives with each passing day, and help to build the foundation for some of the world's most astounding and incredible adults. Teachers, I'm sure there are days that cause you to question if any of your work is making a difference to your seemingly unappreciative students. I want to assure you in this letter of your vast power of influence. I can remember things that teachers have said to me dating back to when I was six years old. I know I am not alone in that regard either. Every thing you say and do affects your students, and that makes your job one of the most important jobs in the world."
Read more from Lexi on the Huffington Post:

A big shout-out to teachers everywhere. This week marks Teacher Appreciation week. Here are a few ways to help your students begin to express appreciation and thanks to those teachers who are impacting their lives.

Make a Pop-Up Sign

Provide an empty bathroom tissue roll or half a paper towel roll along with colored card stock, a drinking straw, markers and glue or tape for each student. 

Read more . . .

You may also enjoy these articles: