mini topics

Times Table

Here's a small resource. Currently, it's aimed for developing understanding of sequences through fill handle. Later, a formula with absolute referencing can fill the table. As well, there is a lot of formatting present that can be used to illustrate the importance and utility of formatting.
Love it, I will try it this semester as an exercise for semi-absolute referencing. And I think I will give it without instructions first to see if the "Excel way", meaning fill handle and references, is integrated or if there are still students that will at first do it one by one.

Weighted Average

A simple but useful excel spreadsheet.

Standard Deviation motivation?

Here's some data that may motivate SD a little. It has 4 sets of 20 pieces of data (like age) that have the min, max, mean, and median the same.

Frequency vs Countif

Bins and Frequency and the "Ctrl-shift Enter" problems... Maybe it's better to use countifs?

Simulation / Random

Shows that Excel can help compare a coffee loyalty card versus a random free coffees.

Sum so far a.k.a. running total

To introduce Functions on ranges, start with simpler formulas?
Here's a context for the running total. Maybe introduce if here to say what's the most expensive item.

Text manipulation with & and len()

A simple example of using text to compute Fibonacci numbers

Lookup tables

Perhaps not useful for class as much as useful for final grades....


Here is a problem that gives practice with if. Unfortunately it requires the function Even() or Mod(). Solution: =IF(A1=EVEN(A1), A1/2, 3*A1+1)

percent change example

Here's an example that might connect things for the students:
  1. A camp of 20 people and 80 people arrive--big change (400% -- like 4 new camps)
  2. A city of 1000000 people (Abu dhabi or Dubai) and 80 people arrive. (0.008% -- no change)
might be useful to talk of supplies (food, water) to drive the point home


This is a tough problem that uses ifs to solve it. easyBridge solution: In cell E3, =C3+E1 then copy it to all the intersections. hardbridge solution: In cell E3, =IF(D3=1,C3,0)+IF(E2=1,E1,0) then copy it to all the intersections.

Format painting Tilings

Some patterns that can be painted to create nice tilings.

Implicit, explicit, and formula

Start with fill handle to do odd numbers. Move to explicit reference +2 drag. Show how powers of 2 can be computed the same way. (what about squaring the last number?) Finish with a formula like 2n-1 and 2^n using two columns. (2^(2^n) yikes!) Here's a summary after the activity . Note the jump to 100--this is there to show how one of the benefits to using a formula.

Data sets

(wow, lot of work there! Nice data set, will be for sure useful)