October 2008 Volume 9, Issue 3


Interaction and Fun with Excel

As some of you might remember from earlier Rendezvous sessions, Excel is much, much more than a spreadsheet program for numbers. It is a very exciting teaching tool, which you and students can easily adapt to all sorts of purposes and interactions. Below are some little programs that I have either created or borrowed/modified from forgotten teacher resources on the Web. Several were created by students. As you open each file, remember to look for the bottom tabs of the spreadsheet. Some have more than one tab. Think of the files as very simple, unpolished  templates that your and your students can easily replicate and refine. (Of course, there are much more sophisticated ones out there if you just Google "Excel Projects")


NOTE: It takes a little practice to use Excel's drag feature, but once your students learn the trick, they are off and running. Click the cell or box you want to drag. Move your cursor to the border until you see the crosshairs show up. Press your mouse button on that border and drag.

  • The Human Skeleton - I've linked this activity to a site that is wonderful in identifying bones. Students can go learn about the bones and come back to test themselves. Good Halloween practice!

  • Loans Puzzle: This is just a simple puzzle that included terms used with loans. Tab 1 is the puzzle. Tab 2 is the solution.

  • Baby Growth Chart - Nice little tool in family literacy. Chart the baby's growth. Tab 1 has the data that changes the chart on tab 2.

  • Know Your Colors? - Super short and simple little template for writing and learning colors.

  • Basic Literacy -  Each tab in this little program has activities and tutorials in very basic literacy skills.

  • Trip Cost - Just fill the blanks with the info.

  • Boiling Point of Water - Nice group project.

  • Michigan Map - Created by a student. Very basic and not beautiful, but do you think she learned?

  • Blood Pressure Tracker - Much like the Baby Growth file using the same technique.

  • Fibonacci Sequence - Very rough, but it works. Click on the rabbit clipart, and you'll be taken to the site with more information.

  • Colorado Map - Practice entering little red-triangle comments on this map.

These are super easy programs to create, which is why they are listed. Want to learn to create them? Let's schedule an Elluminate call and I'll walk you through as many as you like! Imagine how much your students would learn about any topic if they were asked to create an Excel program for other students! No Excel experience is needed to get you started!

Following are some site with additional resources.

Featured Site: Happy Neuron

http://www.happy-neuron.com/games/  - Happy Neuron has a number of different educational games. When you open a game, you may choose “Example” to have the computer show you how to play the game. Open the GAMES tag to see what else is there. For access to all games, join the site for $9.95 a month. You have a 7-day free trial to test everything and decide. I found the games easy to understand, easy to load, and lots of fun to play. Games fall into five categories: memory, attention, language, executive function and visual-spacial. Check on Products and browse through other products on CD. The games below are free. The URLs below will show you the category of each game. Have ESL students? Give them a chance to try these. Except for understanding the instructions, which you can give them, language is not an issue, except, maybe, with the first on the list. Maybe.

Survey Results

You were invited to respond to the online survey so that we could begin to collaborate on meeting our instructional technology needs in the state. Several of you have responded and listed your tech contact for future communication, and my hat's off to you!


  • Families Learning Together/Aprendizaje en Familia/Metropolitan State College of Denver Family Literacy

  • Focus Point Family Resource Center (Denver)

  • Right to Read Adult Education Center (Greeley)

  • Boulder Reads! (Boulder Public Library)

  • Colorado Mountain College (Glenwood Springs)

  • South Central BOCES (Pueblo West)

  • Aurora Language Center, Community ESL

  • Durango Adult Education Center

  • SWBOCS Adult Education Program (Cortez)

  • Center for Adult Learning in Loveland / FRCC

  • Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning (Denver)

Several of you have offered your labs for training, and we are beginning to schedule some of those sessions. We also have a few people starting climb the Tech Ladder for certification. Yes!!!

If you haven't filled out the survey and would like to become part of this initiative, please go to http://coloradoeducation.wufoo.com/forms/technology-capacity and enter your information with our thanks.

Please be sure to also visit http://chiresources.pbwiki.com regularly and add your resources and ideas as you enjoy those that are now posted. Lots there for you to use with students!

Think Again

1.  What word or phrase does the image represent?


2.  Two right triangles share the same hypotenuse AB. The shorter sides of the first triangle are 13 and 18 units; the shorter sides of the second are 7 and 20 units. Clearly, we are not measuring in base ten. What base is being used, and how long is the hypotenuse?


Your feedback, suggestions, questions and error reports are most appreciated!

CONTACT ME: leecy@coloradoadulted.org