Saturday, January 16, 2010

Readings

One thing I learned from this reading was that you can create acrostics in almost any application, including spreadhseets. I origianally would think that Word would be the best place to have students make an acrostic, and would have never even thought to use spreadsheets. Due to my experience in class working with Excel, I now would feel very comfortable having students create an acrostic in Excel with my guidance. I also learned that you can make timelines in spreadsheet software. I had no idea! Additionally, in class I learned how to make an interactive quiz using Excel. I learned how to make the quiz so that students would get immediate feedback as to whether or not their answers are correct. This also helps for assessment purposes because you as the teacher get to see how much your students understand the concept being taught.

13 comments:

kwitzel said...

I learned a lot about using Excel and all you can use it for. I really enjoyed making the quiz in class as well as learning how it can be used to make acrostics, timelines, graphs, as well as checklists like someone mentioned in class. I honestly have only used Excel once in my life and that was to do a budgetting activity for another class last semester. I have learned a lot from the reading and the activity from class. I think that all of these things will be very helpful tools to have and use in the classroom when I am teaching. I also learned the great importance of teaching students the proper ways to use technology and how to gain accurate information from the internet.

kunruh said...

It is sometimes easy to forget how important teaching technology and teaching with technology really is, especially at the younger grades. Since we were not as exposed to computers much when we were in the primary grades, it is sometime difficult understand that they play a central role in education in the primary grades. After reading the chapter about using databases and spreadsheets, I feel more confident that I can utilize excel in daily teaching activities. I loved the idea of creating acrostics using spreadsheets. I plan on using the tips about acrostics to create these with my students. The section on graphing was also interesting to me. Since students need to know how to read graphs well for classroom activities and state testing, having students creating their own graphs would serve as a useful learning tool.

KFelten said...

Agreeing with what others have been saying, I have already learned quite a few new ways to use Word and Excel within the classroom. I would never have thought of using Excel to make acrostics, timelines or an interactive quiz. These are great tools to integrate into the elementary classroom. When I was in elementary school we rarely used computers in the classroom, but with these projects and many others that I am sure to learn it would be easy and appropriate to bring computers into the young classroom.

Bobbie said...

After reading the chapter about the uses of excel spreadsheets in the math classroom it seems as though Microsoft Excel was designed to be used in the math classroom. Now, we all know that this is not true however; it is no coincidence that these two things share so much common ground.
While reading the section about using Excel in the math classroom I found myself wishing that my math teachers would have taught some lessons using an Excel spreadsheet. Reading graphs and understanding the data they represent is not only an important aspect of math, but of almost everything. Excel provides an easy way to record and convey data. Using this great tool students will get a better understanding of how to: a.) Record data and create graphs, and b.) Read graphs and data tables and gather important information from them such as degrees of variability and other pieces of information people might be interested in.
One great example at why students should have to opportunity to experiment with and practice with Excel spreadsheets is the ACT. We all remember that dreadful test with its math and science portions crammed full of data tables and graphs, and how hard it was to extract the information we needed from them. Now imagine if we had practiced making and reading similar data tables and graphs with Excel. It would’ve made that test a lot easier.
In summary it seems that Microsoft Excel is a must use tool in the math class. Being able to convey and read data in multiple ways is a major part of mathematics and Excel makes that easy.

Katie Bell said...

When reading about databases and spreadsheets and how they could be used in the elementary school setting, I found the information to be extremely useful. I know someone who is in their second year of teaching and I shadowed her class for a few days. The book shows an example with surveys in the classroom and how spreadsheets can make them more organized. The teacher actually used a spreadsheet for her lesson plans and a project she assigned the students. Something I found really interested was the way they explained how to do an acrostic poem using a spreadsheet application. I didn't know this was possible, and I think it's a creative way for the kids to complete the assignment while using excel. Lastly, I remember doing graphs ALL the time in elementary school. I think the technology available to us now to teach our students is much more effective. The way the book shows how to present data is perfect for the elementary level.

Kari said...

Although I am planning on teaching high school Spanish, looking at the chapter 11 in the elementary book was very interesting. There were a lot of creative ideas (acrostics, timelines) that I could adapt to make fun activities for my Spanish class. For example, when teaching the future tense, a project could be for my students to create a timeline on a spreadsheet of things they plan/hope to accomplish in the next 10 years.
I am really amazed at how much can be done on Word and Excel...I feel like I'm never going to learn everything they can do, but I guess I'm going to know a lot more than I did before this class! Making the interactive quiz was a little frustrating with figuring out how to get everything to work properly, however I feel like the end result is extremely beneficial to students and so is worth the pain of me figuring it out. Plus, once you go through the process of learning it the first time, it becomes a lot easier!

jjameson said...

I agree with what everyone is saying here. I definitely never knew you could do so many things with Excel. I rarely use it because I am not terribly familiar with it. Like Karin said, sometimes is it a bit difficult for us to understand some types of technology because we didn't grow up with it. I thought that was a great point. Overall, I think these skills will be extremely useful in my teaching career.

Caitlin said...

I can honestly say that until the other day I had really only used excel to create bar and line graphs in high school/junior high science classes. I think the prospect of interactive quizzes using excel is interesting because it would give automatic feedback to students. I'm not exactly sure how frequently I would be able to use such a quiz in an English classroom as many of the tests tend to be written, especially essay tests. However, these quick quizzes would be useful to test students regarding content matter of novels that they have read.

Regarding Word, I really enjoyed reading the chapter about how to create interactive English assignments. The book described a way to have students write a story without the assignment being dry and boring for students who don't like to write. Taking advantage of tools such as hyperlinking specific content words to related internet articles not only keeps students engaged, but inadvertently makes them do more research than if they were to hand write a creative story.

Overall, I am quickly learning that technology opens so many doors that traditional teaching techniques cannot. In the fast paced world we live in and that kids are used to, the only way to make a classroom effective is to learn to and be open to integrating this technology.

spierpoint said...

I agree with what has been said about it being so easy to forget how useful technology can be for younger students. So many children learn and absorb better in hands on activites. Being able to create acrostic poems, timelines, and use interactive quizzes can really help them understand concepts. Plus, it might be more fun for them since their generation is so technology savvy. Learning this past week that there are so many uses for Excel has really made me more aware of the possiblities and activities for my future classroom.

Brittany Gonio said...

For the reading about math, I agree with what Bobbie said concerning the fact that I wish my teachers had used Excel in order to convey meaning to the concepts we were being taught involving graphs and manipulations of numbers. I believe the excel is a great way to explore new possibilities, either led by a teacher or through students' own freedom to experiment, and to see outcomes immediately. Excel is a way to learn through experience in a way that math is not usually taught.

However during the excel lesson on Thursday, I learned so much more about how to use spreadsheets in order to make even more creative and diverse learning materials. I believe using those type of resources will lead to better and more interesting lessons in the classroom.

eschimic said...

I completely agree with everything that has been said about Excel and its importance in the classroom. I like Sarah's point about how the acrostic poems, timelines, interactive quizzes, and other projects and activities that can be done with Excel make learning more fun for students. Whether or not students have had a lot of exposure to technology, these activities are a good way to provide some diversity in classroom assignments to hold students' interest and keep them engaged in what they are learning.

Andrew Werkema said...

I also agree with everyone that excel is very important in the classroom. having a quiz like the one that we made in class will not only make taking the quiz alot more interesting for the students, but also introduce them to a valuable piece of technology.

mhandke said...

After going through all of the tools we learned in class for excel and word, it is clear how many different applications they can have in the classroom. I really liked all of the interactive tools which can be implimented in excel, especially the quiz we made. I also liked the use of the smart board, with all of the tools which are already built into it, it will be very easy for any teacher to be able to find a way to apply that technology into the classroom. I especially liked using the map program from the smartboard. As a history teacher, I would be able to interactively show things like boarder changes or military advances with the pen or arrows because of this technology.