Save or Play:
An Instructional Unit
Using MS Excel
by Mike Callinan
Cedar Shoals Unit.
This unit, called "Save or Play", was a one-day unit given to
a Cedar Shoals High School Pre-Algebra class. The objective was to teach
them how to manipulate equations and a variable on a spreadsheet (Microsoft
Excel, in this example) and also give them a valuable lesson for their future.
The spreadsheet compares two saving patterns in columns B and C, each saving
annually at 5 percent interest, the amount stored in cell D1. The years
are represented in column A.
The first student (column B) decides to start saving immediately for
ten years while the other student (column C) decides to "play".
The second student finally decides to start saving after ten years while
the first student decides to "play", letting his savings draw
interest. The spreadsheet shows how long it takes for the second student
to catch up with the first.
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