Our second and third graders have been taking surveys and using the data to practice working in an Excel spreadsheet. The students took two surveys: one on favorite fruits and the other on favorite pizza toppings. I used Survey Monkey for the polling.
Both grades started with a template to create a bar graph using data collected from the “Favorite Fruits” survey. The students learned about cells and how to enter data. The students were fascinated to learn abut auto sum! Before showing auto sum, I asked the students to estimate what they thought the answer would be. Many were thrilled to discover that their estimation was fairly close. A favorite part of the lesson was learning how to change the color of the bars!
The following week, we discussed pie charts as well as bar graphs using the “Favorite Pizza Toppings” survey. Although we again had a template, I left out some information.
As soon as the students opened the spreadsheet, I heard comments such as: “You left off some of the toppings. We’ll have to write them.”
Hooray! I love it when they are observant!
Again, I had the students use the auto sum function and was pleased to discover that they remembered how to do it. The third graders even learned how to select the data and create a pie chart.
As an added piece to the lesson, some of the third graders had time to blog about what they learned about spreadsheets.
Although we learned some basics, the students were thrilled to discover that they could use a program just like their parents (Well, not quite, but they were excited!). It’s a start . . .