Additional Math Pages & Resources

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy Mole Day!

Know the math behind chemistry? Then you’ve likely heard of Avagadro’s number (6.023 × 1023) that’s used as a basic unit of measure in chemistry. 

This number is more commonly referred to as a mole.

Mole Day is observed on October 23rd from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm, and can include anything mole related.

Activities can range from eating guacamolé to making a felt mole, experimenting with molecules, or researching the creation of mola textiles. The punnier, the better.

Here's a colorful framed mola our relatives picked up in their travels to Panama. The mola or molas is handmade textile art native to the islands of Panama.

Using the fabric of their choice, students can make a small stuffed toy mole to help them remember that a mole in chemistry is actually 6.023 × 1023.

See our blog post from several years ago for a creative felt mole pattern:
Celebrate Mole Day In the Classroom

In  Excel Math, we help students apply math to everyday life. For over 40 years, Excel Math has help students excel in math. In fact, schools that use Excel Math see improved test scores and high student engagement with elementary mathematics—even after the first year! 

Here's what teachers and administrators are saying:
"I’ve used Excel Math for many years . . . and loved it!  In Laredo, Texas, I started using Excel Math with excellent test results. Each year produced 95% to 100% of the students passing their Texas State Tests. This also includes the two years I taught in Houston. I’m currently in Oklahoma, and will again use Excel Math with my 4th graders. 
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!!! I’ve used Excel Math for many years . . . and love it! I’m VERY excited to use this program again, and can’t wait to compare the scores from last school year to this. Thank you so very much!!"
— Susan Vilar, 4th Grade Teacher, Hoover Elementary School, Tulsa, OK
Take a quick tour of Excel Math here. Now fix yourself some guaca-mole using your favorite guacamole recipe. 

Enjoy a snack break with some chips and dip while you read more about moles, mole day and Excel Math. 

Use guacamole or any favorite recipe as a math word problem by having your students triple the recipe or divide it in half, adjusting the ingredients and quantities accordingly. 

Have your class calculate how many tortillas you'll need if each student in the class gets a quarter or half of a tortilla. 

Then let your students figure out how many tortillas they would need for 3 classes with 24, 26 and 30 students in each class. 
Then try an experiment with molecules and density from Excel Math Grade 6 Activity. (Excel Math  Activities are hands-on projects in back of the Teacher Editions, not included on the Student Lesson Sheets):
Begin by explaining the concept of density to the students. 
Help them understand that every object or volume has a certain number of very small units called molecules. 
Density is a measure of the amount of molecules in a given object or volume. Draw two figures like the following on the board and ask the students if they can tell which box has a higher density. 
Help them understand that an object with a lot of molecules has a high density while an object with fewer molecules has a lower density.
Explain that fluids such as water also have densities. Ask the students what would happen if you dropped an ice cube into a glass of water. Would it float or sink? Use a tally chart to record the class opinions.
Ask them to explain the difference in density between the ice cube and the water. Then drop an ice cube in a glass of water so the class can see which hypothesis was correct. Talk about why the students' hypotheses were or were not correct.
Read our previous post for more density experiment suggestions: Celebrate Mole Day In the Classroom

How will you celebrate Mole Day this year? Leave a comment below to let us know.

New to Excel Math? See samples on our website:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Base Ten Pumpkins for 10/10

Celebrate today's date of 10/10 with Base Ten Pumpkin Cards, a Free download for your class.

Print a set of cards for each student or have them share the cards.

Provide acorns, pumpkin seeds, buttons or raisins for counters.

Or have each student cut the pumpkin shapes from an extra set of cards.

Help your students practice addition, subtraction and counting on.
Pumpkin Seeds

This is a great way to welcome in the harvest season with math!

Complete instructions and colorful patterns are included in the Free Base Ten Cards PDF file.

You may want to roast some extra pumpkin seeds and salt them slightly so your students can snack on the seeds while doing the math.

Excel Math lessons for Kindergarten through Grade 6 have an intricate spiraling process that helps math concepts "stick".

Students learn math for the long term when they use Excel Math.

And because math concepts stay in front of students on a regular basis, they are able to retain concepts from week to week, month to month, and year to year without drill and kill and without having to cram for the test.

Schools using Excel Math see test scores rise, even the first year after Excel Math is used.

Here's what one teacher told us:
"I love Excel Math! Some of my slower students were so excited about the CheckAnswer component. I was surprised and pleased by their response. I could see their confidence improving right away!"

— Jennifer Price, 4th Grade Teacher, West Virginia

See what others are saying . . . 

You may also enjoy these articles:
Classroom Management Tips
5 Steps to Building Math Success 
Five-Minute Math Class Warm-Ups: Adding Time Intervals
Overcoming Math Anxiety in the Classroom

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Every Day Should Be World Teachers' Day!

October 5 is World Teachers' Day, a time set aside to honor and thank teachers.

According to recent research, top-notch teachers help students succeed.

This comes as no surprise to most educators.

Effective teachers can boost the test scores of students who have previously struggled.

However, one day a year just doesn't seem enough to properly thank those individuals who have mentored and guided a generation or more of our children.
Here at Excel Math, every day gives us a chance to recognize educators.

This month we're giving teachers a FREE Glossary of Math Terms in English and Spanish to thank you for the time and effort you spend educating, nurturing and challenging students.

Feel free to copy the Glossary for your students and colleagues.

Let us know how long you've been teaching and what ages you teach in the comments box below.  Continue reading . . .

You may also enjoy these articles:

Classroom Management Tips
5 Steps to Building Math Success 
Five-Minute Math Class Warm-Ups: Adding Time Intervals
Overcoming Math Anxiety in the Classroom