Teaching students how to use spreadsheets doesn’t always ring synonymous with “creative” or “engaging.” However, spend a day at Denver’s North High School in the class of KidsTek Senior Instructor Emily Tow, and you may be persuaded differently.
Emily starts off a recent class on a dreary Wednesday morning with an online Kahoot game of random trivia. Students will be awarded team points at the end for their hard work, so they focus on the game. Some healthy competition is a great way to get students excited and involved. When the game ends, it’s time to jump into today’s lesson and assignment. The class activity for today is called “Duplicate It.” In this Google Sheets assignment there are a handful of skills that will be taught: number formats, merging cells, creating borders, cell fill colors, font size formatting and alignment.
The challenge is to take a spreadsheet with pre-filled information and make it match another spread sheet created by Emily. She says, “In this assignment, you’ll use a few new Google Sheets skills to transform a spreadsheet with disorganized and difficult to read data into a well-formatted masterpiece!” Students must practice the skills she taught them to get the exact match and “Duplicate It!” Emily provides examples, hints and even a Google Slides presentation with all the skills they learned to help students get from point A to point B.
Students begin working with an upbeat instrumental Spotify playlist playing in the background. For the remainder of the class, Emily makes her way around the class to answer questions and help guide students on the assignment. As you look around, you see students helping each other and enjoying themselves, having conversations while they work. The classroom environment is calm and productive this morning, and students can focus on their schoolwork and build relationships simultaneously. What a great Wednesday morning!