Monopoly spreadsheet unit


Students will Play Monopoly using Checks.

Students will keep track of their balance using a check ledger.

Students will write checks for expenses.

Students will use Standard Monopoly rules to play.

Students are required to make purchase 2 properties during the 6 days of game time.

If a student warns another player that someone owes him/her rent the student who did the warning has to pay.

Students will make a spreadsheet to balance their check ledger.

Students will make an assets sheet to total their assets.

Students will write a formula balancing their check ledger and adding in their assets.

Checks have to be purchased from the banker. .50 cents for 9 checks. No more than 9 checks can be purchased at one time.

Bankers own all properties. Any properties not sold the banker has to claim on his/her asset sheet. Bankers sell properties when a player lands on it. Properties may be auctioned if a player does not want it. Auction prices start at the mortgage price on the back of the card.

Bankers keep track of the money in the “free parking” When a player lands on free parking they win the lottery and get the money in free parking. Players put fines, taxes and fees in free parking.

When you complete this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Start and exit from Microsoft Excel.
  2. Identify parts of the Excel screen.
  3. Work with dialog boxes, menus, and toolbars.
  4. Customize Excel.
  5. Use help.
  6. Understand how to save over a network.
  7. Work with Multiple workbooks.


Excel is a spreadsheet program ( application). That you can use with Windows operating systems.

A spreadsheet is a grid in which you can enter, calculate, and manage data. In the past, spreadsheets were created by entering data by hand on a ledger paper. When calculators came along, the calculation of data was made easier but it was still entered by hand.

Today, however, advanced spreadsheet programs like Excel make it easy to manage numeric information, to create charts, and to maintain lists of data.

Below is an example spreadsheet designed to duplicate a traditional check ledger. Our first lesson will be to take the money you earned in the Monopoly game and create this spreadsheet.


date check # Checks and deposits amnt checks deposits balance
    balance forwarded     $1,500.00
1/22/10 2 kma bank $0.50    
  2 deposit   $362.00  
  1 jobob $200.00    
  3 clint e $180.00    
  4 annie oakley $10.00    
  5 bank $250.00    
  7 deposit   $200.00  
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The two files linked above are part of this post. They are a word doc. of my test and my keyboard powerpoint

I have had some discussions lately about keyboarding. Here is one of my lessons on keyboarding. First I hand out the keyboard test for them to fill in and study, Then a few days later we play the Keyboard game to review, and about a week later we take the keyboard test for real.

Part of learning the keyboard in my class is that they have to memorize the keys. I give the keyboard test every quarter 6th through 8th grade. By the time they have finished 8th grade they know the keyboard pretty well.

During my 6th grade class my students learn to type for accuracy until the holidays. After the holidays I start taking grades on their speed.

Before the holidays we will take speed test for practice, and if the students increase their awpm (average words per minute) by 5 they get a reward. Sometimes it is candy, sometimes it is free time on the computers.

After the holidays the speed test are taken and included as part of their grade.

While teaching keyboarding in the fall I have the students type articles, papers, and paragraphs on geography. Usually to reflect something they have or are covering in their social studies classes. I grade on accuracy at this point. In the spring the students work on creating excel spreadsheets. We start the unit by playing Monopoly with checks and keep a check ledger. In about 5 days they have enough information to make a spreadsheet into a check ledger. Afterward we make spreadsheets and write formulas to reinforce mathematics concepts. The spreadsheets are an excellent way for the kids to learn the keys not associated with letters. Those would be the numbers, the symbols etc.

Then in 7th grade they have to program a web page using HTML5. The webpage is about economics to support that part of the core curriculum. This forces them to use symbols on the keyboard.

By the time they are in 8th grade the know the keyboard very well.

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Square dancing


Well I am learning how to be a square dance caller. I love square dancing, Who’d of thought it right? Me the guy who hated  to dance. However, Square dancing is pretty easy and it’s a lot of fun. I mean what other activity can you go to eat and have fun for 2-3 hours with your wife and friends for less than the cost of eating at that fast food place.

I figure after I retire in a few years, square dance calling would be a good part time income and square dancing will keep me moving, help keep me from becoming senile and over all keep me young.

No side effects like what you see on the drug commercials. The ones like: “Are you tired, need energy, try new so and so medicine. It’ll make you feel young again. Side effects are liver disease, your hair falls out, you go blind, get cancer etc.” you know the drill.

I will just square dance and avoid all that other mess.

Besides its good clean fun. No drugs, alcohol or undesirables.

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Integrating technology into curriculum for common core


It’s really not that hard to integrate technology into the curriculum. The most difficult part will be up to the administration to get enough computers and bandwidth so that your students can work effectively. That might be a problem since the Govt. is good at giving dictates without funding them.

You can make just about any lesson a technology based lesson by adding in some  research and having the students use technology to produce a presentation. Make them more common core friendly by designing the lesson as a group project.

Grading them isn’t all that hard either. Just make sure you have created a rubric that is centered on the items you are trying to assess.

I found it easiest to make the rubric first, and  let that guide my method of instruction. Assessment for learning is a key element.

What you will find hard is giving up the role of “sage on the stage” to become the “guide on the side”. It will be easier to guide your students like a coach guides his team than it will be to dictate their every movement.

This will result in some classes that are less structured. Some students will need more guidance so just pair them up with a responsible peer and give frequent feedback to them.

I will be posting some of my lessons in future discussions. Please come back and visit and by all means start some discussion.

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