This school year I have given multiple professional development workshops on using Google Suite in the classroom. I had also challenged myself in creating them for my students to use in a few of our units of study.
In our Algebra 2 course this year, I had created a template for personal budgeting as an introduction into our unit on Exponential and Logarithmic Functions. Students learned how to use the functions on Google Sheets along with inputting data and information.
Here is a link to the all the functions you can use on Google Sheets.
After using my template for a basic budgeting activity, students were assigned to do research on a career choice and look up statistics on income, future outlook, education requirements and experience requirements. Students then created their own personal budget on Google Sheets with data on what it would look like for them in the future where they would be making loan payments and other personal financial responsibility payments. All students were highly engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the projects involved in the unit. Most saw the relevance of mathematical concepts in their life.
Implementing the use of Google Apps in the math classroom covers at least two topics from the Common Core 8 Mathematical Practice Standards:
Standard#4: Model with mathematics.
“Math doesn’t end at the classroom door. Learning to model with mathematics means that students will use math skills to problem-solve real world situations. This can range from organizing different types of data to using math to help understand life connections. Using real world situations to show how math can be used in many different aspects of life helps math to be relevant outside of math class.”
Standard#5: Use appropriate tools strategically.
“One of the Common Core’s biggest components is to provide students with the assets they need to navigate the real world. In order for students to learn what tools should be used in problem solving it is important to remember that no one will be guiding students through the real world – telling them which mathematics tool to use. By leaving the problem open ended, students can select which math tools to use and discuss what worked and what didn’t.”
Effective teaching of mathematics engages students in making connections among mathematical representations to deepen understanding of mathematics concepts and procedures and as tools for problem solving.
Creating such authentic assessments took time and strategic planning. But the rewards heavily outweighs the work it took to get there. If you are struggling in using this technology software, here is a link to where you can explore and learn more on your own rather than me posting steps on doing one type of thing when there is massively more you can do! (Or you can attend one of my workshops in the future!)