Oh no, not spreadsheets again..

4 Apr

Spreadsheets have a bad name for itself. Whenever I hear that we are going to be using spreadsheets in the classroom I immediately tone out and pay attention to something else. Nothing good comes from spreadsheets but  spreadsheets are no longer just for math there are endless possibilities for using a spreadsheet in the classroom.

Spreadsheets are a good example of teachers spending hours and hours designing lessons only to have the student say in five minutes time “Mr. Gonzalez, I’m finished.” …

Well crap, what am I going to do for the rest of the class now? I thought that was going to take them at least two days.

This is something that every teacher has said to themselves at least once during their career.

In order to teach spreadsheets to your students you do not need to over think it. Students do not like figuring how how many boxes the warehouse has. That’s just busy work. Assignments do not need to necessary be educational challenging just exciting enough to grab the students interest and hold it there till the assignment is over and give the student a good base of enjoyment in learning something new.

The best way to design a spreadsheet is to take something that the children are all interested in and have them design Inquiry based questions and have the students fill out what they want to know; how many people got this, how low with this. etc etc.

Technology makes this a lot easier. Children learn by doing and creating. If you have a Google account you can design spreadsheets about something that all the students are  interested in and have the whole class participate in putting in their own information.

Using this will help with sharing and teaching students how to collaborate on something.

Potato_graph1

Pets

hit the Jump button to see the sample spreadsheets that I made as well as the movie that I used to learn how to use simple excel functions

Wedding Planning Spreadsheet 

http://youtu.be/Xe67CNGv0ag

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2 Responses to “Oh no, not spreadsheets again..”

  1. Joey Talley April 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    I too was a person that dreaded even hearing the word spreadsheet. Because I got used to using them for inventory in retail jobs, I developed a negative association to them. This session helped me see the benefits you mentioned as well. The examples you posted are a great representation of what can be done with a spreadsheet. Even in a special education classroom there is plenty of room for spreadsheets.

  2. Alex May 7, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Spreadsheets are something we disagree on! I am in LOVE with spreadsheets and I pretty much have been using them all my life, by choice! I think it may have to do with near OCD tendencies and a little love of organization, but there’s nothing wrong with that 🙂 I used an example of a spreadsheet I made for student teaching on my blogpost as an example, but I really liked your ideas. The different styles of eating potatoes was really funny and an interesting way of making things fun.

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