Spreadsheets are a powerful tool for math but, in my experience, are underused in the classroom. It got me to thinking because much of the math I do in my day-to-day life, I figure out with the help of a spreadsheet. I regularly use them to do budgets, track expenses, plan vacations, etc. Basic spreadsheet skills would be fabulous for students to know and can be accomplished beginning in the early elementary grades.
Google Sheets (part of G Suite for Education) makes it easy to introduce students to spreadsheets. It’s important to know, though, that every spreadsheet program out there works in much the same way. If you learn something in Sheets, you’ll be able to apply that knowledge in Excel and vice versa.
Here’s an introduction for how to manipulate data in Google Sheets using functions, formulas and cell references:
And here’s a clip of how to make data visual by inserting charts and graphs:
What other spreadsheet skills are essential for students to know? Leave a comment below and perhaps you’ll be the inspiration I need for my next spreadsheet video!
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