K-12 Activities with Microsoft Excel on BenQ Boards
  • BenQ
  • 2021-11-17

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are not only useful for tabulating data, you can also utilize them for interactive lessons. Below are a few simple activities that you can easily try out for your classes.

Checking computations

The beauty of teaching using Excel is how easily you can insert formulas into a sheet for instant calculations. You can just select a cell, click the Insert Function button, and then choose whichever type of value you wish to compute for. You can even manually input the formula yourself if it’s not part of the options.

This feature is particularly useful for classes that require a lot of calculations. Business and STEM-related subjects like Algebra and Physics come to mind. You can present either word or equation problems using PowerPoint and then let students answer them from their seats or directly on the board. Afterward, pull up the sheet onto the screen, input the figures from the problem, and see the correct answers get generated in real time.

Progress monitoring

Since everything on Excel is tabulated, it provides a convenient way to monitor the progress of ongoing activities. Your students can take advantage of this functionality when noting their findings for science projects and other related schoolwork. They can use sheets to note changes to their experiments on a daily or weekly basis.

If students are working in groups, using the cloud-based Excel on Office 365 allows them to simultaneously update the data they’re responsible for at any given time. When they’re ready to present, they can easily load the sheet on the display and explain their results to the rest of the class.

Graphing data

Converting data into graphs is a good exercise as it teaches students to think logically, visually, and critically at the same time. And since Excel has a feature that converts tabulated data into different types of graphs, it becomes a great teaching tool for this purpose.

You can populate a sheet with data before presenting it to your class. During the lesson, use your BenQ Board’s Duo Windows mode to split the screen. On one side, share the sheet, and on the other, open the EZWrite cloud whiteboard. You can then ask your students to draw a graph on the board based on the data provided.

If, for example, your student chose to draw a line graph, you can easily generate the same chart on Excel. Let your class compare the similarities and differences, discussing which parts can be improved to present the data more accurately, clearly, and without bias.

Finance exercises

Calculating finances can be tricky to follow if you’re only tackling it theoretically via lectures. This kind of topic requires practical application. Whether you’re guiding your students on how to create a monthly household budget or how to track the status of their personal loans, an Excel sheet comes in handy.

Before class, you can provide your students with a template sheet they can fill out with actual data. You can start small by having rows for weekly savings and expenses. Through a cloud whiteboard or presentation, you can gradually introduce concepts like salary, utilities, and the like. Students can then add new rows to the sheet to factor in these items and see how it affects their finances.

These exercises are particularly valuable as they not only teach your students basic math, it also gives them real-world knowledge that they can apply when they eventually have to deal with food budget, rent, and taxes in the future.

Data extraction

Extracting data from reports is a valuable skill that students can pick up in school. They can use it when they decide to pursue higher education or join the workforce as it helps them with research and writing reports.

In class, you can present an excerpt from a report on the board and then ask your students to input important data on an Excel sheet. This helps them get the habit of identifying correlated data, labeling them correctly, and tabulating them in a meaningful way. And since the sheet is shared on the board, when you check your students’ output and correct any errors in their data, the entire class will be able to follow the changes.