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Pizza Pie Charts July 12, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools, Students.

pizza   I gave a training session in the use of Excel this morning to seven Administrative Assistants. We had a top notch person in last week training them on Access and they raved so much about her I was getting a little worried that I would not be able to satisfy this crew.

Perhaps my worried were misplaced. Each participant had her own laptop and I followed a script of my own design as we walked through about eighteen short activities. This was project based learning in miniature. By the time we had finished the three hours they were adept at making charts and graphs, linking files, creating simple formulas, and had even created a pivot table.

The feedback I received was that they still did not quite understand pivot tables but since they did not have a great need to know how to use them they could overlook that deficiency. One of the fun activities was getting everyone to pony up loose change up to five dollars each that we could put together toward a pizza.

We then used a formula to total the amount of money, calculate sales tax, and figure change. We then created a “pizza pie” graph that showed us all what percentage of the pizza we needed to slice for ourselves based on how much we threw in. One feature that seemed to arouse a lot of unexpected excitement was my side demonstration of how to color in the piece of their pie chart with a photo of a pizza.

There is something about the sound people make when they are following along and solve a problem for themselves or finally see how to link a cell in one spreadsheet with a table in another. Like a light being turned on or the ice breaking off the lake. I am convinced that you cannot take the love of teaching out of the teacher.



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