Budget Planning with Spreadsheets
Investing money and budget planning are two life skills our students need. The mathematics topic, 'Investing Money' provides some imperative components in the calculating and forecasting of monetary situations that will with no doubt, be used in future financial dealings.
Such life skills though need to be backed by practical and real-life tools that are widely used in society. The use of Microsoft Excel allowed our Year 10 mathematics students to investigate situations in interest calculation and what-if analysis scopes. It gave a platform in the calculating and displaying of a wide variety of financial concepts.
Microsoft Excel provides the essential tool in providing an analysis of data, and this could be used in a number of scopes in other subjects...
- Data analysis, such as precipitation rates in Geography
- Graphing the readings, such as that of temperature variations of an experiment in Science
- Constructing a Gantt Chart in Technology and IPT
- Collating and summing the data from a survey in Community and Family Studies
Advantages of Spreadsheet development in Mathematics...
Save time — Spreadsheets save valuable time by allowing teachers and students to complete essential calculations quickly. They save time not only by making initial calculations faster and more accurate, but their automatic recalculation features also make it easy to update products such as grades and budgets. Entries also can be changed, added, or deleted easily, with formulas that automatically recalculate final grades.
Organize displays of information — Although spreadsheet programs are intended for numerical data, their capability to store information in columns makes them ideal tools for designing informational charts such as schedules and attendance lists that may contain few numbers and no calculations at all.
Support asking "what if" questions — Spreadsheets help people visualize the impact of changes in numbers. Since values are automatically recalculated when changes are made in a worksheet, a user can play with numbers and immediately see the result. This capability makes it feasible to pose "what if" questions and to answer them quickly and easily.
Increase motivation to work with mathematics — Many teachers feel that spreadsheets make working with numbers more fun. Students sometimes perceive mathematical concepts as dry and boring; spreadsheets can make these concepts so graphic that students express real delight with seeing how they work.