Monday, 17 June 2013

Home Schooling ICT, part 4: Spreadsheets.

There’s been a bit of a gap in the blog recently. The most significant event in my home schooling plan is that my youngest now wants ICT lessons too, which I take as a great compliment, and a vindication of teaching plan. I’m really pleased to be asked to develop a plan for her. The challenge is to select the right concepts to teach, appropriate to Early Years Foundation standard. I’ll blog on both lesson plans, and how they are received.

Lesson 4: Spreadsheets
·      Maths models
·      Scenario analysis
·      Graphical representations

1.     Write down a list of all the items DD1 wants to buy in the first column
2.     Research and cost each of them in the second column
3.     Put them in order
4.     On a second tab, write down a cumulative pocket money accrual schedule
5.     Cut and paste items from the wish list into the savings tab
6.     Move items around until there is a savings plan that does not go into negative
7.     Create a second scenario where DD1 gets some spending money at her ha’ birthday
8.     Create a line graph of her balance over time
9.     Create a bar graph ranking her purchases

I think DD1 enjoyed this lesson more than any of the previous. Perhaps it was because this was a real-life problem, and the answer was immediately applicable, so she was able to “invest” in the lesson and the outcomes. I liked the combination of different skills required: find the cost of the wish list required the ability to define search terms to quickly get to the result; manipulating the data between web sites and the spreadsheet required keyboard and mouse skills; re-ordering the items into a savings plan required mental arithmetic skills, and creating the graphs required understanding of communicating the data.

This was also the first lesson where I was able to comprehensively meet my envisaged objectives. DD1 developed and manipulated her savings model into a plan that never put her projected balance into the red. She was able to re-order the model when I introduced different scenario. She was also able to create a printout to show Mummy.

Perhaps the real success in her eyes was the prospect of accruing a wealth of material assets during the coming year, without having to wait for her birthday or Christmas!

More in this series: part 3, part 5.

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