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Holy Sheets! Spreadsheet Activities for all Subjects

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Franklin 11/12/13

Explore and create: Deep-dive Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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Technology Integration Specialist
Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium
Eric Curts is a veteran educator who currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Stark County Educational Service Center in Ohio where he oversees Google for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google for Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides training to schools, organizations, and conferences across the country. Eric runs the award-winning blog where all of his edtech resources can be found, and is the author of the book "Control Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects".

Session description

Google Sheets is not just a tool for crunching numbers. Explore creative activities for any subject area including random writing prompts, flash cards, educational games, student-created learning databases, art and creativity, conditional formatting feedback for students, task lists, and of course analyzing data to draw conclusions and make predictions.

Purpose & objective

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for the classroom, but can often be seen as intimidating and therefore may not be used to its potential for teaching and learning. The purpose of this session is to help educators feel comfortable and confident in their ability to use Google Sheets, as well as see a wide range of engaging educational activities their students can do with Sheets in their classes.

Details and examples of these use can be accessed at:

In this session we will explore the uses listed below:
Analyzing Data
Learning Databases
Educational Games and Activities
Random Generator Activities
Art Activities
Tasks Checklists
Conditional Formatting Feedback

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The session will cover the following information. Note: live links to the resources referenced below can be accessed at

1) Analyzing Data - 20 minutes
In this section we will explore how students can collect real-world data and then analyze that data with Google Sheets tools including sorting, filtering, formulas, charts and graphs, conditional formatting, and more, to be able to identify patterns, draw conclusions, and make predictions.

2) Learning Databases - 10 minutes
In this section we will apply the same skills to non-numeric content, where students collaboratively create learning databases in Google Sheets where they research and record information about the content they are learning in class, then use inquiry to ask questions on the data and explore answers.

3) Educational Games and Activities - 15 minutes
In this section we will explore how teachers and students can use the free Google Sheets templates provided by Flippity to create interactive educational games and review activities, for individual and group review and interaction.

4) Random Generator Activities - 10 minutes
In this section we will explore how the randomizing tools in Google Sheets can be used to generate writing prompts for students to help them identify topics for their own writing including poetry, stories, and more.

5) Art Activities - 10 minutes
In this section we will explore how Google Sheets can be used for creative arts including such projects as digital pixel art and Mondrian art.

6) Tasks Checklists - 10 minutes
In this section we will explore how Google Sheets can help students stay organized and track their completion for classroom activities and projects with interactive tasks checklists.

7) Conditional Formatting Feedback - 15 minutes
In this section we will explore how Google Sheets can provide live feedback to students when they are practicing subject area skills. Through conditional formatting, Google Sheets can let students know when their answers are incorrect, and can provide support to help students learn and correct their mistakes.

Throughout the session, participants will be encouraged to test out the wide variety of sample Google Sheets templates, as well as create their own Sheets using the techniques demonstrated.

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Supporting research

Several of the activities and approaches demonstrated in my session are listed as positive influences on student achievement in James Hattie's "Visible Learning" study including:
Creativity programs
Providing formative evaluation
Deliberate practice
Technology in writing
Mathematics programs
Inquiry-based teaching

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Session specifications

Creativity & curation tools
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Attendees will need to have a Google account (personal or Google Workspace for Education) and a Windows laptop, Mac laptop, or Chromebook to fully participate in the session.
ISTE Standards:
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.