**Project:**

*Spreadsheets & Databases*Using spreadsheets and databases in the mathematics classroom is an easy fit. It allows students to process significant amounts of data and to simplify complex computations. This allows students to focus on the applications of this information. This allows students to visualize careers in marketing, finance, accounting, and many more fields. However, the applications of spreadsheets and databases expand well beyond typical mathematical fields.

Spreadsheets are excellent for teaching students how to compare and question data. Most importantly, spreadsheets make students comfortable with numbers an applying them to real-life situations (Thorsen, 1997). Spreadsheets can enhance a student’s educational experience by making the manipulation and organization of information so easy. Students and teachers can save time by taking advantage of the calculation formulas spreadsheets offer. Spreadsheets and databases also present data in an easy-to-read format, thus making proof-reading and analysis much easier. Students have more time to carefully and thoughtfully synthesize and analyze data when it is well organized and presented in an attractive display (Roblyer & Doering, 2013). The relative advantages of using spreadsheets and databases is that it encourages and allows the students to perform complex searches, conduct findings, and use the data for intense analysis. Spreadsheets and databases are tools in the classroom that make learning motivational and self-directed.

In a High School Algebra 1/2 course there are numerous opportunities to implement spreadsheets and databases into the curriculum. Incorporating the usage of spreadsheets and databases into a curriculum meets multiple NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards.

http://www.nctm.org/standards/content.aspx?id=16909

Resources:

Resources:

Roblyer, M.D. & Doerling, A.H. (2013).

*Integrating educational technology into teaching*(6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Thorsen, C. D., & Barr, R. D. (1997). Computer competencies for teacher educators. In

*Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference*(Vol. 1997, No. 1, pp. 39-42). Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org.libproxy.boisestate.edu/p/46997

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The following examples provide some ways that spreadsheets could be incorporated into an Algebra 1 or 2 Classroom.

Graphs & Graphing

*Spreadsheet Examples*The following examples provide some ways that spreadsheets could be incorporated into an Algebra 1 or 2 Classroom.

Graphs & Graphing

Graphs are used in everyday life, from the local newspaper to the magazine stand. It is one of those skills that you simply cannot do without. Whatever your need or calculation, if used correctly, a graph can help you and make your life simpler. MathForum.org is just one of multiple sites that allow students to interactively input data into spreadsheets in order to produce graphs. Graphing is a critical component of every level of Algebra. A graph (the result of graphing data) presents the data visually and allows observers to see (literally) the relationship between data points.

there are multiple sites that allow student to input data and see the graphs. A good graph show clear facts and will be visually accurate. It will grab the attention of the reader and show data clearly. It will demonstrate and be simple.

The use of a graph will present data in a quick way, lift out the most important facts and will be easily remembered.

**Data Collection & Spreadsheet Entry**

The process of collecting, organizing, displaying, and interpreting data and using it to make decisions or predictions has become an important skill in today's society. People are inundated through the media with statistical data from opinion polls, advertisements, surveys, and medical research. Understanding the uses and misuses of data can help you and your students make informed decisions about health care, the environment, education, financial matters, and political issues. Understanding what happens to various statistics when new data are added or existing data are deleted is an important aspect of data analysis. Also, knowing about sampling techniques and having the ability to recognize biased data is very important when it comes to having faith in the validity of conclusions one might draw from analyzing the data. The Franklin Institute, Resources for Science Learning has a great group graphing activity that could be easily modified and adapted to a high school level Algebra course.

**Formulas & Functions**

Excel formulas allow a user to to perform calculations on data they have entered into a spreadsheet. Excel formulas can be used for basic number crunching, such as addition or subtraction, as well as more complex calculations such the Quadratic Formula or finding solutions to a large degree polynomial function. Once a formula has been entered the data can be easily changed or modified and Excel will automatically recalculate the answer. Excel formulas are great for working out "What if" scenarios that compare calculations based on changing data.

The Excel Tutorial website provides over 300 practice problems and examples how to apply Excel in solving polynomial and quadratic functions.

**Data Analysis**

Data analysis can have many applications in education and many more outside of education. Excel has a built in analysis tool called a pivot table that can total, subtotal, count, average and present your data from just about any perspective with very little effort. This allows the student to quickly and accurately prepare data for interpretation without spending an inordinate portion of time crunching the numbers. The ability to perform the analysis on larger quantities of information and repeat and revise with just a couple of mouse clicks helps to focus the learning on the application of the concepts being studied as opposed to the more basic underlying calculations. The functionality to display the data analysis in an almost unlimited number of formats will potentially build interest, hold a student's attention and allow for the most intuitive view of the data. Clemson University has developed a great site that walks students through analyzing data using Excel.

**Spreadsheet Lesson Plan for High School Algebra****Level/Course:**High School Algebra 1/2

Solving problems using an algebraic formula is a common topic throughout an algebra curriculum. Once students have mastered the syntax of entering equations into a spreadsheet, it will become a useful tool for many additional topics. This particular application illustrates the Quadratic Formula.

**Objectives/Goals:**

Students will use the spreadsheet to solve a quadratic equation using the Quadratic Formula. Students should be able to understand when to use the Quadratic Formula. Students should be able to understand and interpret the solutions of the Quadratic Formula.

**Standards Addressed:**

Washington State K–12 Learning Standards

EALR 1 -

*Integration*

1.3.2 Locate and organize information from a variety of sources and media

EALR 2 -

*Digital Citizenship*

GLE 2.3.1 Select and use common applications (ie spreadsheet program)

GLE 2.4.1 Formulate and synthesize new knowledge.

**Activities:**

This task should be repeated multiple times (see below for data to be used). In each cell of the spreadsheet, there are three options for data entry: numbers entered are treated as numbers, an entry preceded by the equal sign is a formula, and an entry preceded by a quotation mark is a label. When entering a formula, the data in other cells may be referenced by name A1, A2, etc. or by clicking in that cell to input it. A cell referenced by A4 is considered a relative reference, and in the next row, it would use A5. To keep a value absolute (not relative or dynamic), use the dollar sign before either the column letter or the row number. $A$4 would always use the value of A4. Or $A4 would fix the column shift the row from A4 to A5, etc. A large number of functions (including math and statistical functions) are built into the program, and may be accessed from Insert-Function.

The following example solves equations with the Quadratic Formula:

**Excel Spreadsheet**

**Data:**

Students can change the values of a, b, and c in cells F5, F6, F7 to test multiple quadratic equations using Excel. If there is no solution students will see #NUM. They should recognize this indicates there are no x-intercepts for this particular parabolic equation.

Here are some practice quadratic equations. Regents Prep

Students should use the Excel spreadsheet to verify the solutions to all the practice problems provided on this site.

Students should use the Excel spreadsheet to verify the solutions to all the practice problems provided on this site.