Thursday, February 6, 2014


I recently integrated a Microsoft Excel lesson into Mr. Gildiner's 6th grade math class at the William Davies Middle School.  

The students had to build a snowman with the specified material list, but it had to cost less than $25.00 and weighed less than 50 lbs.  This is the specified material list.  Students recorded their information in their notebooks and created a PowerPoint presentation on how they constructed their snowmen.  

Once completed, I introduced Microsoft Excel to the students.  I introduced vocabulary terms to them such as:  cell, intersection, data table, spreadsheet, row, column, label, formula, function, function bar, horizontal and vertical.

Students had to transform their hand written chart onto a spreadsheet.  First, we created a data table, formatted the headings using bold and center justify attributes, and adjusted the column width. Next, students entered their data into the appropriate cells, converted ounces to pounds using Google unit of measure conversion tool, and calculated the cost of their snowmen by using the SUM function. Finally, students created a double line graph and a bar graph on the cost and weight of the snowmen.  Below are samples of the spreadsheet and charts.

In the data table, students had to format the headings in the columns using bold and center justified attributes, format the cost column to currency, which includes the $ sign, and format the weight in oz and weight in lbs columns with two decimal places.  In addition, they included a SUM function in the total row to calculate the total weight in oz, total weight in lbs, and total cost.   

For both charts, students had to include a chart title, axis labels, an appropriate label for the legend, and headings for the data series.

Considering this was their first time using a spreadsheet, the students were able to follow directions, and complete the assignment successfully.  

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