Tag Archives: spreadsheets

Integrate Mathematics and Technology

Money Management and TechnoBudget

With essential curriculum to teach in addition to computer skills, teachers have to be creative and resourceful to ‘get it all done’. Then to ensure that students are engaged and interested adds another level of challenge!

TechnoBudget is a new release by TechnoKids Inc. created to meet all three objectives:

  • Teach fundamental mathematics expectations
  • Build spreadsheet skills
  • Hook students with meaningful, real world learning experiences

The activities in TechnoBudget develop financial literacy using a scenario that is understandable for young people. The project begins with students receiving an unexpected windfall for which they must create a budget. The budget must fall within specific restrictions. A pie graph is made to graphically depict the budget. Next, students go on a shopping spree using online resources. They organize, calculate, and graph the shopping plan. Finally, they write a report to justify their financial choices and share insights about money management.

Teach Fundamental Mathematics Expectations

  1. Problem Solving
    TechnoBudget follows a problem solving model. As they make their budgets and spending plans, students must apply critical thinking to organize their ideas, research purchasing options, compare choices, reflect upon their plan, and defend their reasoning. The report they write to justify their financial choices is the final communication step that reviews and explains how the solution was reached.
  2. Graphing
    Data management and probability is a core strand in the Mathematics curriculum. Students learn about gathering, organizing, and displaying data. When these learning expectations are applied to a real-life situation such as budgeting, shopping, and making a spending plan, students are much more likely to acquire the skills and understand their relevance.
  3. Money Management and Financial Literacy
    Children are consumers long before we teach them to be thoughtful, wise, and discriminating consumers. Giving them the skills to make good decisions about their spending and saving is essential. The math curriculum should include learning how to manage money responsibly. TechnoBudget begins with an activity where students gain insight into their own values and spending practices. They rate their habits to find out “Are you a spender or a saver?” As they design their own budget, following required restrictions, they build skills to make educated financial decisions. Optional extension activities include comparison shopping, consumer awareness, using a spreadsheet to calculate interest payments, and more.

Build Spreadsheet Skills
As students create the budget, spending plan, and write their financial report, they develop fundamental spreadsheet skills, including:

  • create and manage workbooks
  • insert, select, and format cells, rows, columns, and ranges
  • use Auto Fill to fill cells with a data series
  • produce, format, and label a pie and bar graph
  • use formulas and functions

Hook students with meaningful, real world learning experiences
Designing a budget is a real world experience, not to mention an essential life skill. Receiving an unexpected windfall of money appeals to anyone and engages students. And getting to plan a shopping spree in TechnoBudget will hook even the most reluctant learner!

Integrate mathematics and computer skills

Integrate mathematics and technology

Experiment with Sum in Spreadsheets

There is more than one way to write a formula. In a spreadsheet, there are many ways to write an addition formula. Try them! Which way do you like the best?

You have surveyed your friends to find which color of candy they like best. You would like to know the total number of people you surveyed. Using Google Sheets, open a blank spreadsheet and enter the following information. Make sure you enter the first color – blue – in cell A4.

sum in spreadsheets

Survey your friends or use this sample data.

Sum with the plus sign between each cell:

  1. Select a blank cell.
  2. Type the formula =B4+B5+B6+B7+B8+B9+B10+B11+B12

Sum with a comma between each cell:

  1. Select a blank cell.
  2. Type the formula =SUM(B4,B5,B6,B7,B8,B9,B10,B11,B12)

Sum with a cell range:

  1. Select a blank cell.
  2. Type the formula =SUM(B4:B12)

Sum by naming a cell range:

  1. Select the cells with the votes (B4:B12).
  2. From the Data menu, select Named ranges.
  3. Replace NamedRange1 with votes. Click Done.
  4. Select a blank cell.
  5. Type the formula =SUM(votes)

Which addition formula do you prefer to use? Why?

For more spreadsheet activities using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, see TechnoCandy. Students use math and spreadsheets to investigate a problem, conduct a survey, research packaging, and recommend a solution.

Spreadsheets for Beginners

Spreadsheets for Beginners

Teach spreadsheets to junior students

When kids enjoy math and are engaged, they learn skills more effectively. Finding a project where students are both having fun and building proficiency in mathematics is a bonus. The newest release by TechnoKids Inc., TechnoCandy, fits the bill perfectly! In this technology project, elementary and middle school students acquire math skills as they learn about spreadsheets.

Learning through Problem Solving
In TechnoCandy, students develop a plan to boost candy sales. They investigate a problem by conducting a survey and researching candy packaging. A spreadsheet is used to organize, calculate, and graph data. Based on the evidence, students recommend a solution in a written report.
The practical, real world nature of the problem appeals to children. When they understand the connection between math skills and their applications, mathematics becomes interesting and relevant. Helping a candy company to improve their marketing strategies is sure to be an appealing challenge.

Templates Simplify Learning
The problem solving activities in TechnoCandy make use of templates. In this way, students spend no time setting up spreadsheets, but rather focus on interpreting data and devising a solution.

Use Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, AND Google Forms!
The TechnoCandy technology project, with its many optional activities, builds skills using many Google Apps tools. Students create pie and line graphs using Google Sheets, write a solution using Google Docs, design a candy package using Google Slides, and conduct a survey using Google Forms.

Enrichment Activities Extend Learning with Spreadsheets for Beginners
Challenging extension activities included in TechnoCandy make learning spreadsheets fun. Activities for a range of levels, from junior through middle school, include:

  • Play spreadsheet Bingo
  • Draw spreadsheet pictures
  • Explore addition formulas
  • Investigate pie and line graphs
  • Develop advanced graphing skills

Spreadsheets for Beginners