Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free Rice and Google Spreadsheets: Keeping Track of Helping a Good Cause

If you've never been on Free Rice before, you probably should; the fourth graders at Searsport Elementary School sure have!  During the last couple of weeks of school, the fourth graders have been answering math problems and learning new words to help donate food to those without it all over the world.  In fact, two of our students, Gabe and Caleb, wrote about this project in the third trimester edition of News from Moose ("Students Help the Hungry").  Check out their article!


Throughout this project, students kept track of how many grains of rice we were donating using Google Spreadsheets.  They learned about how to set up a spreadsheet, and what rows, columns, and cells were.  They also learned that spreadsheets can do math using formulas, and we used the Sum formula to calculate how many gains of rice we donated during a course of the week.  While the craziness that goes along with the end of the school year limited the opportunities for students to use Free Rice, they were able to donate a lot of rice in a short amount of time!

During the last week of school, we finally got a chance to figure out how many grains of rice we donated as an entire grade.  We used our Sum formula to figure out how many grains of rice we donated for all the weeks combined.  Once students had that calculated, I directed them to a Google form I created so that they could submit their totals.  After every student submitted their totals, I was able to use the Sum formula to calculate the whole class together.  In just about a month's time, the fourth graders at Searsport Elementary School donated over 225,000 grains of rice!  Wow!  Everybody left that day feeling great about what they were able to achieve together!

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