Home > Our Design Lab > Formative Tasks > Work with Numerical Data in Excel_LR

Work with Numerical Data in Excel_LR


What numerical questions can spreadsheets answer for us easily?
Develop a clear enough understanding of a spreadsheet program to enter data, perform basic calculations using functions, sort data, and create pictorial representations to export into an infographic.

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.6
  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2

I Can Statements 

I can:

  • Use a spreadsheet program to enter data, perform basic calculations using functions, sort data, and create graphics
  • I will know if my work with numerical data is of high quality if it:
    • Is accurate
    • Makes the data easier to understand or reveals something not obvious in the raw data

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with the students, asking them to demonstrate their skills with the spreadsheet program.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below.


Possible Activities 
  1. Conduct a mini-lesson on various spreadsheet functions (such as sort, averages, sum, or making a graphic).  Using a graphic organizer, for each function of the spreadsheet have students brainstorm possible real-life uses and/or uses related to their research. 

  2. Ask several of the students to provide the quantitative data from their experiments. Have them enter the numbers into the spreadsheet. For instance, a typical problem in an elementary school textbook might have students calculating the interest on an investment. To enter a problem calculating the interest on $100 at 5 percent, have the students enter "100" in cell A1, "5%" in cell B1 and use the "=A1*B1" calculation to arrive at the answer.

  3. Use the mathematical functions within Excel to calculate the answers to math problems. Create handouts that show the mathematical functions available on the spreadsheet and their equivalents on the keyboard, i.e., "+" for addition, "-" for subtraction, "/" for division, and "*" for multiplication. To add two numbers together, put the first number in cell A1, the second number in cell B1, and use the formula "=A1+B1" to arrive at the sum. Use the same procedure for each of the four basic mathematical formulas, i.e., "=A1-B1," "=A1*B1" and "=A1/B1."  

  4. Explore the cut-and-paste spreadsheet functions by opening another program and typing some information. Highlight that information, then hold the "Ctrl" key and the "C" keys down to copy the information to the clipboard. Then go back to the spreadsheet and hold the "Ctrl" and "V" keys down to paste the data into the existing spreadsheet

  5. Teach how spreadsheets integrate with other programs by having students click the "Insert" menu and choose an object to insert. Students can insert a picture from a thumb drive, the computer's hard drive, or the school's network.

  6. Use one of the many videos, tutorials, and lessons provided below to ensure students are fluent in using Excel to manipulate numerical data.

Downloadable Resources 
Login to See More