A lot of fun was had by my students in technology class. We are learning basic spreadsheets.
Now, spreadsheets tend to be boring. They are boring because the thought of listing a bunch of numbers and graphing tends to be all that it is used for. However, if you teach kids how spreadsheets work, I find that they can get a little more exciting.
I focused my lesson this week on teaching them the SUM feature. Common to all spreadsheets, SUM adds up numbers in whatever cell you want. My students were given a task: Spend a million dollars. Using SUM they were able to add up all the prices on the items they found on the internet. Houses, RVs, and game systems were all totaled up and automatically subtracted from their budget. By learning how to copy and paste cells, we were able to put our purchases into categories and create pie graphs of what we were spending our money on. Pie graphs changed every time we added or removed an item. For younger kids who needed to learn how to put things into categories and cells, making this file ahead of time might be better. Also, the internet has its limits; for buying real estate, newspapers are best.
How do I know that this lesson was successful? The kids were trying to sneak in at recess to keep working on their lists. As fun as Excel seems to this crowd, I think I may have some future accountants in my class. Good thing, too; tax season is coming up.