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Excel Math Blog

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

5 Steps to Mid-Year Math Success


child in snow

Beginning a new math program mid-year can be a challenge! It can be just as challenging to receive new students in January or February or even later in the school year.

Here are a few ways Excel Math can help you get off to a strong start:

1. Use the Excel Math Placement Tests

Excel Math provides FREE Placement Tests to help you determine where your students should begin in math.

Each Excel Math Placement Test file contains six tests that evaluate a student's preparedness for Excel Math.

The tests are labeled A - F, which correspond to first through sixth grade. Instructions for using the tests are included.

Save the test to your computer and print it for each student.

Download the test (in English or Spanish) from our web store: excelmath.myshopify.com

2. Give Feedback

After students turn in an assignment for most classes, they usually have to wait a day or two to find out whether they were on track and did the work correctly.

In that brief amount of time, students can easily forget why they made the mistakes they did. And since they haven't yet discovered where or why those mistakes occurred, they keep making mistakes again and again as they complete their homework.

As a result, the mistakes continue and bad habits begin to form.

With Excel Math, students get immediate feedback so they can easily correct their mistakes switch gears and start tackling math problems correctly.  

Excel Math steps to student success
Excel Math gives students immediate feedback

Excel Math CheckAnswer

Excel Math CheckAnswer System

Dr. Janice Raymond, the author of Excel Math lessons, incorporated a natural feedback loop with the unique CheckAnswer system. The CheckAnswer lets students see immediately where they've made mistakes and gives them a chance to correct those errors on their own.

This CheckAnswer system, used throughout Excel Math lessons for Grades 2-6, gives students confidence in math as they begin to develop a growth mindset and a "can-do" attitude.

The CheckAnswer enables students to check their own work and verify for themselves that they understand the concepts in the daily Guided Practice and Homework.

As a result, students are encouraged to solve the problems, show their work, check their answers, and then go back and fix any errors they've made.

Students are given an immediate feedback loop so they don't have wait until the next day to find out which problems they've missed. Read more in our previous post.

boys doing math

Students are able to check their own work and correct their mistakes


Math Flashcards
Excel Math Exercise in the Teacher Edition

3. Be Flexible

Excel Math is designed to be flexible! You may find there is more material each week than you can use, especially if you have field trips and holidays.

Use your own judgment to work through the lessons in their entirety or move quickly through a few days of lessons if your class is comfortable with the concepts. 

On those days, let your students spend more time on the Guided Practice portion so they can review a number of different concepts.

Students who finish quickly can tackle the Stretch problem or continue with Basic Fact Practice. We do not recommend jumping around the lessons in a different order, as all the lessons build upon one another.

4. Use the Test Tables for Assessment

Excel Math tests are cumulative. There is a test after every five lessons in Grades 1 - 6.


The test tables located in the Teacher Edition indicate the concept covered by each test question and the lesson numbers where each concept was taught. 

After your students complete each test, use the tables to see where they need more review and practice. 

Use the Score Distribution Charts to see if the class as a whole would benefit from reviewing some concepts together. 

5. Download our FREE Guide to Success

If you begin using Excel Math mid year, be sure to download our Strategies for Mid-Year Success.


girls happily doing math

Strategies for Success with Excel Math
Strategies for Mid-Year Success

This step-by-step guide will help you get off to a running start with Excel Math.

Try these easy-to-follow strategies from experienced educators that are designed to help you build student success in mathematics. 

If you have questions, we are just a phone call away.

Call us at 1-866-866-7513 Monday - Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (West Coast time) and a friendly person will be glad to start you on the road to success with Excel Math!

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Tell us what's working with your students. Feel free to leave a comment including your favorite website links.

You might also like these articles:

Make-Your-Own Math Flashcards

Higher Order Word Problems for Math Students

Using Number Lines in the Math Class

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