Lesson plan

Lesson 6: Mystery Computations

teaches Common Core State Standards MP8 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP8
teaches Minnesota State Standards
teaches Pennsylvania State Standards CC.2.4.HS.B.1.

Lesson 6: Mystery Computations

This lesson is optional. The purpose of this sequence of three lessons is to introduce spreadsheet functionality to students who are unfamiliar with it. It is assumed that students know nothing about spreadsheets. If students have already learned to use spreadsheets as computation tools previously, this sequence of lessons can be safely skipped.

To engage in this lesson, students must have access to internet-enabled devices. Ideally, they should navigate to the digital version of the materials with the embedded applets. A direct link to each applet is also provided.

Students experiment by changing numbers in a provided spreadsheet and discover what it does and how. Then, they have an opportunity to write their own formula. When students observe the outcome of different inputs and then generalize the operations in the formula cell, they are expressing regularity in repeated reasoning (MP8).

Lesson overview

  • 6.1 Warm-up: Make 24 (5 minutes)
  • 6.2 Optional Activity: Mystery Operations (10 minutes)
    • Digital applet in this activity
    • Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
  • 6.3 Optional Activity: More Spreadsheets! (15 minutes)
    • Digital applet in this activity
  • 6.4 Cool-down: What Does This Do? (5 minutes) 

Learning goals:

  • Use cell references in a spreadsheet to provide arguments for mathematical operations.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let's explore spreadsheets.

Learning targets (student facing):

  • I can determine basic relationships between cell values in a spreadsheet by changing the values and noticing what happens in another cell.

Required materials:

  • Internet-enabled device

Required preparation:

  • Acquire internet-enabled devices. It is ideal if each student has their own device.






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