Teachers at every school I’ve ever worked have been intimidated when it comes to using spreadsheet software with students.
Even though our math standards have tons of graphing, something about doing it digitally gives people pause. No more!
Let me give you some tips and tricks that will open up this great option of using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets with your students. It is totally doable!
Give the Task Meaning
Creating charts and graphs is pretty meaningless if they are just some random numbers to calculate. Give students engaging prompts (just like you would with word problems) so that they are invested in the outcome.
It helps if you can make it colorful, too. This image is an example of a first or second grade project for either Excel or Sheets. There are 6 data points and the final graph is a column graph, which students are usually already comfortable creating on paper.
Allow Students to be Self-Paced
|Click this image for a free sample
Start with a Template for Your Students
- Google Classroom or other LMS that requires login
- Private Symbaloo
- Password protected page on your website
- Using a network shared folder
- Make a desktop shortcut of the template or folder of the templates
- Using a program like Lanschool to push the file to student computers
Once you’ve shared the template with your students, they work through the steps of the project independently. You can walk around and answer individual questions as they come up.
Teach Tech Skills that Translate to Other Programs
I love to teach keyboard shortcuts because it makes students feel like they are magicians! This set of shortcuts work in Excel but many also work in any program, like Google Docs or any web pages.
Grade Based on the Whole Process
Follow Similar Formats for K-2 and 3-5
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