Teaching Numbers and Excel

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The students will gain entry level experience working with statistics in Excel and Numbers.

Big Idea

Using 21st Century Tools for use in a 21st Century world - Teaching statistics on Numbers and Excel.

Roll Out

5 minutes

Students receive the Class Work Template that guides them through them through the mini lessons.  I've adding some insights about giving students opportunities to learn 21st century skills how this lesson aligns with this goal in my video narrative.

The period is spent with two teachers in the room:  a classroom teacher AND a technology teacher. I explain how we make this work in my "split class" video narrative.

Teaching Numbers

18 minutes

To help me teach Numbers and Excel, I have the luxury of bringing in a co-teacher from my end of the school building.  At HNHS, we several joint classes:  Biology and Computers (BIOCOM), Chemistry and Literature (CHEMLIT), etc.  These classes are double in size and are co-taught by content area teachers who mesh their curriculums into a single class.  Prior to my stats unit, I talk with the computers teacher to find a day that she could slip in my room and co-teach with me instead!  For the lesson, I take part of the class with me and teach them the basics of Numbers.  The other half of the class goes with the computers teacher where they brush up on Excel.   After approximately 20 minutes, we switch groups and offer the same instruction to the other group.  This sets a great feel for the class as the students learn about the tools and functions of both platforms.  Even if you do not have the luxury that I do (of having an extra technology teacher come in) perhaps you could be creative and have a professional development coach or assistant principal assist you?  It is a great way to get new faces involved in your classroom! 

Do not feel the need to teach EVERY aspect of Numbers and Excel!  This would take forever, and the students would not retain the information.  What they need to know are the basics, and where they can go for help.  Closer to the activity, I plan to meet with the technology teacher to learn what my students already know about Numbers and Excel, and how we can create a mini activity and scaffolding that asks them to use both platforms.  Right now, I am thinking of using the most basic statistical functions of a data set that the students will be able to import from our online learning platform.  This saves them from having to enter a bunch of data – while allowing them to focus on learning and using the functions in Numbers and Excel.  The exact context of the data set is yet to be determined, as I want my co-teacher to have input prior to the formation of the activity.  Look for this data set to be posted in the future along with my lesson reflection!  Although it takes time, it is important to teach students appropriate tools so that they can use them strategically!  (MP5)


Links to outside external resources:

General NUMBERS information

NUMBERS Funtions

Teaching Excel

18 minutes

Switch groups at the 18 minute mark.  Re-run the same workshop with new students.

Bridging the Gap

4 minutes

As a final piece of the lesson, I like to teach the students how to convert between Numbers and Excel.  I have suggest the how-to video below for this. 

Feel free to refer the students to the video, or teach the process yourself.  I like to have my students mesh the two data sets to appear on one worksheet to make certain that they are able to do this.  It will come in hand throughout the course, and down the road outside of the classroom!

Be careful not to assign any of the day’s tasks as homework.  Many of the students in my class do not have internet access at home.  Although this is a tremendously helpful lesson and saves you from answering a lot of questions down the road during the unit, I do not like to drag it out for longer than one day.  Because of these factors, I do not ask the students to submit anything to me for completion and the day's lessons on Excel and Numbers are strictly for their benefit.