Sunday, November 16, 2008

Integration Assignment - Redux (Now with Website!)

Well, it seems I did not fully understand the parameters of the Integration assignment initially. At any rate, the full description of my assignment posting with links to the FTP site was posted in the prior entry from November 11th. Thanks to a couple classmates that analyzed the assignment better than I did, HERE is the link to my web page for this assignment.

This is a great class. I have to say I have worked at greater length in this class than any of my other Graduate courses. There have been many nights spent with candle burning, coffee consumed, and sleepy eyelids in getting through these assignments.

Toss more words up here later,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spreadsheet Integration Assignment - First Entry

Excel Spreadsheet Template: Click Here

Lesson Plan: Click Here

Student Worksheet: Click Here

This went really well, assuming my understanding of the parameters of this Integration assignment are correct. It was nice to put all of this information together (lesson, CSOs, ISTE|NETS, Excel) into a cohesive piece that one could technically use in their content field. Realistically, getting use of the computer lab at the middle school where I am observing is not easy. In fact, just this cooperating teacher had to change his lesson plans to something less "techy" as he only has 4 PCs in his room and the labs were not available for the next week and a half. In other schools this may not be an issue, but it has been the case with both schools in which I have observed. Additionally, when the lab times are in conflict, it seems that Social Studies does not win out as compared to the Science and English classes needs for the lab (that has been my understanding anyhow).

I will not detail my lesson in this blog post too much it is highly detailed in the links for the lesson plan and worksheet. Perhaps my worksheet is too detailed, I am not sure, but I did make this lesson for 8th graders. I am not sure there can ever be too much detail with middle school students...there will always be questions that the worksheet and my preparatory instructions will not cover.

Toss more words up here later,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Spreadsheet 2 Assignment

Click Here

I think I said this last time, but "Wow!I did not have a great time with this". I know it is showing my age (as Mark R. pointed out), but the last computer class I had was at Fairmont State "College" in 1998 on a Windows 3.1 PC. I believe we did not even use Excel...I think it was Lotus. Overall, the spreadsheet was not too bad. I had some trouble with the COUNTIF function. Special thanks to Mark R. for allowing me to pick his brain on that portion of the assignment. I think my primary difficulty was that my software is Excel 2007 and not the older version. I now understand why the COUNTIF command is needed to convert the grade letter information into percentages to be used on the chart. All of the tutorials an online help sites I found were for 97-2003. Oh well, lesson learned, new tool acquired.

Toss more words up here later,

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spreadsheet 1

Click Here

Wow! This was challenging for me. For all the computer and internet activities I am decent at, somehow I've avoided Excel (and spreadsheets in general) entirely to this point.

(1)Downloading the spreadsheet was no problem. (2)Averaging columns in Excel was not difficult once I figured out where the Formula Tool was for Excel 2007.


(3)Formatting the name and average of the highest scoring student was no different
than doing it in Word. (4)Averaging the assignments was no different from averaging the grades other than it was a column average rather than a row average.


(5 & 6)This was just a matter of subtracting the highest score (93) out of 100.
Special thanks to Mark for help with that curve score formula! (7)That Pivot tool is Excel is really neat, too bad it does not transfer to Google Docs. (8)Making K3 shaded black was again no different than in Word...right click the cell, select background color and change to black. (9 & 10) I did not have any trouble getting the Spreadsheet uploaded to Google other than that my PC had saved it to the download folder instead of the documents folder. Again, good thing I'd read that the heading angles would not transfer. (11)Inserting a column to the left of the original averages was no first. (12 & 13) It worked fine until I pasted in the new student names in that column and moved the "curve" column. When I did, because of the curving formula I'd used (added specific cell values that were no longer there), Google Docs gave me a "circular dependency error" on all my adjusted grades. Thanks again Mark for helping me get that right. (14)I really like the chart tool on Google Spreadsheets. That was a really easy way to add a graphic to a set of calculations.

I must say that I am glad that we will not likely use Excel or Google Spreadsheets to do our grades. There are commercial programs like Live Grades and others that are more user friendly. That said, it is always good to learn something new.

Toss more words up here later,