Monday, November 9, 2009

Blog #7

I have a web-based resource that I often use in my classroom to help with ideas about scientific concepts that I will be teaching during the week. It is, which discusses everything and anything a person ever wanted to know about science. The great thing about this website is that it offers users the option to select topics based on grade level. Take a moment and check it. I'm sure you'll find it interesting....even if you're not a science geek. :o)

As a 7th grade science teacher, I have become very accustom to using Microsoft Excel to help organize all kinds of data. For one thing, I always use excel to create bar graphs that show the results for all exams by class, and then as an overall average of all of the classes. I will show the average grade, highest grade, lowest grade, and standard deviation so that students, as well as myself, can clearly see how well they understood the material. In addition, I teach students how to input data into an excel worksheet so that they can create line graphs, pie charts, and bar graphs to reveal data trends from their experiments. Then I will have students analyze their data to make a conclusion. For example, we just got back from Sea World this past weekend, November 5th and 6th, from an education fieldtrip. Students were given a statistical chart that reflected various animal rescues at Sea World during a 10 year period. My students are to create a line graph adn a bar graph to reflect the number of rescues for each group of animals for the 10 year period. I instructed my students today, November 9, that they are to place the year along the horizontal axis and the number of rescues along the vertical axis. Then they had to label the name of the animal group it represents and turn that in to me by Friday, November 13. This kind of technology in the classroom gives students an opportunity to become familiar with a program that they will definitely have to be proficient with in the future with high school and definitely science classes.
I also used excel to create a spreadsheet that showed a list of students who paid to go on our fieldtrip. There were two payment dates, which I was able to annotate by creating two columns with the dates payable at the top. As students paid me, I entered the dollar amount in the correct column/cell. I used a "Sum" formula to tabulate the total dollar amount and total number of girls and boys attending the fieldtrip. I also used excel to create a room list based on the data of students attending. This program enables me to keep data well organized for any kind of situation, which makes life for a teacher so much easier. I can not imagine life before a computer and helpful software.

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