SMILE Spreadsheets

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This resource from SMILE Mathematics contains 20 activities for using spreadsheets to solve mathematical problems in the classroom, rather than gaining spreadsheet skills in the computer room. By encouraging students to use spreadsheets when appropriate to the mathematics, they can be an aid to the development of mathematical thinking. Students should begin working with pencil, paper and a calculator, to allow them to get an understanding of the problem before using a spreadsheet to generate some results for analysis.

The activities:

Target 100 - place value and estimation

Dividing investigation - place value and decimals

Trick or treat - patterns and generalisations

Calculator trial and error - trial and improvement

A rich aunt - cumulative totals or constructing formulae

Again and again - sequences leading to limits

Consecutives - analysis of prime factors

Pamphlets - trial and improvement

Differences - sequences from polynomials leading to generalisations

Percentage problems - compound percentage increase or decrease

Jeans - effect of price increases on large quantities of material

Square root investigation - sequences formed by multiples of square roots

Strings - integer parts of a sequence

Averaging out - limits of sequences from the means of previous terms

What's recurring? - recurring and non-recurring decimal parts from fractions

String - open ended activity

A problem of power - calculating powers and modulos

Limits - iterative processes to find cube and square roots

Optimising - maximum volume

Converging sequences - limits of sequences leading to algebraic proof

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