Additional Math Pages & Resources

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Math Lessons: Thinking Outside the Textbook

Louisiana state education officials say new textbooks do not match up with the Common Core State Standards. (Read the full blog post here.) As a result, they are thinking about rejecting proposed textbooks from publishers submitted for the most recent adoption cycle. Among the textbooks specifically cited for insufficient common core alignment were math books geared for students in K-2. Here's where Excel Math can help fill the gap.

One of the great benefits of Excel Math is that it is continually enhanced. We print Excel Math throughout the year so teachers always have the latest lesson sheets, unlike textbooks, which are static until you buy a new book. Over the years, Excel Math has been updated with new teaching tools, but the proven math teaching techniques, in-depth spiraling, the CheckAnswer feedback loop, and other time-tested benefits of this program have not changed.

Excel Math Gives Your Students More
Excel Math uses proven instruction strategies in the Daily Lessons that include:
Daily Instruction of specific concepts
Basic Fact Practice (including online timed practice)
Guided Practice
Critical thinking activities
Interactive manipulatives
Challenging story problems
Stretches (brainteasers)
Projectable lessons (interactive way to engage the class using an electronic format)
Preprinted lesson sheets (students don't need to waste time copying problems)

Formal assessment is incorporated into the Excel Math program and is organized into weekly, quarterly, and year-end tests. Our unique spiraling strategy ensures that students are not tested on concepts that have just been taught. Instead, concepts are introduced and then reviewed and practiced before they are included on tests. In addition, concepts spiral back into the lessons on a regular basis so students are able to retain them for the long term.

Built into this structure are powerful self-checking feedback loops that keep students on task and engaged. Students can work independently, catching mistakes as they occur and correcting them before moving on. They are given the opportunity to build higher-level thinking skills through hands-on activities, Create-A-Problem stories, stretches, and more. These varied activities extend opportunities for differentiated instruction and let teachers merge math with literacy. Mastery is achieved over time by exposing students to concepts and then using spaced repetition to keep those concepts revolving back to the forefront, helping students gain complete understanding.

Excel Math Lessons Correlate with Common Core
Click here to see correlations
We were pleased, but not surprised at how well our Excel Math materials correlate to the Common Core and new state standards. Take a look for yourself. View and download the correlations by grade level. Simply click on the grade level button to see the correlation between that set of educational standards and Excel Math. With Excel Math, students learn higher-order thinking skills beyond what is required of the Common Core. Our correlations allow you to focus on the standards or go even further, with additional concepts we provide.

Within each grade level, we correlate the Excel Math Lessons, Stretches, Activities and Exercises to each Common Core standard. At the bottom of each Common Core (CCS) correlation, we list additional concepts covered by Excel Math. You can use these additional concepts to provide accelerated learning for your students who are ready for more.

This year we added some Common Core activities to our Excel Math lessons to expand on those concepts already included in the Excel Math Teacher Edition, Student Sheets and Projectable CDs. Click here for our Tools for Teachers and these new lesson pages (available for viewing and download as PDF files).

Does Your Curriculum Need a Boost?
If you're not already using Excel Math, why not? Excel Math is proven as a core curriculum and also helps increase student test scores in a supplement position. Even though most textbooks don't meet or correlate to the new Common Core Standards, Excel Math correlates and even goes beyond CCS requirements. Projectable lessons let your flip your class or use an electronic whiteboard (or just a screen) to engage the entire class in learning.
Why sink large amounts of money into textbooks or programs that don't achieve the necessary results but can become a huge financial drain?  Excel Math is extremely affordable and it really works. Students gain confidence as they achieve mastery and really begin to understand and enjoy mathematics. Excel Math Professional Development is also available for a nominal fee. (Read more about hosting a PD session at your school.)

Excel Math Really Works
Excel Math works equally well for remediation and resource students as for GATE and more advanced students. These unique lessons for K-6 can help teachers transition to the Common Core and new state standards, building student confidence in the near term and advancing students with proven test results and reasonably priced materials that really work in the math classroom. Excel Math solves some of the problems faced by educators and provides an excellent program supporting the needs of students and teachers alike.

Excel Math is a rigorous curriculum that results in skill mastery, long-term retention of concepts and advanced understanding. Students progress significantly in math skills and aptitude, preparing them for higher level math courses in middle school, high school and college and helping them succeed in the workforce.

Download our "Top 10 Reasons Your Students Will Thank You for Using Excel Math."
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