Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

1st Graders Making a Spreadsheet

1st Graders Making a Spreadsheet

First Graders Graphing in Spreadsheets

Have Students Respond in a Spreadsheet

This morning I woke up to see this tweet “What about first graders responding to a question in graph format through Google classroom?” There are many ways to accomplish this but here is a suggestion for how first graders might do this.

Pixel Art


I have created a spreadsheet template that allows students to type in a single digit number and it is like paint by number, the cell becomes filled in with a color. There are many ways for students to use pixel art (hey, just have them make a picture as a way to introduce the magic of spreadsheets. Even big kids love it.)
Pixel Art

Make a Graph

Students can chart different things using the pixel art template. Using the pixel art template I made column B wider to allow me to put in the criteria for what the students are graphing. Students would enter a single digit for each occurrence of what they are tallying.
Make a graph in spreadsheets

Emoji Graphs

To create an emoji graph start by creating a spreadsheet http://sheets.new. Freeze the first row and use the column headers: Item, Count, (emoji). Make the column for the item name wider if necessary.

Choose an emoji! Find an emoji on the internet that you like.


Copy the emoji and paste it into cell C1 for the emoji header.
Paste emoji in c1

Sample emoji spreadsheet.

Under the emoji (cell C2) use the formula =rept($C$1,B2). Note the dollar signs on the C1. This is called absolute cell referencing. This ensures that you always reference where the emoji is pasted.

Use the fill down square to copy the formula down the column. Now when students type a number into the count column it will repeat the emoji that many times.
Use the fill down square to copy the formula

Install TemplateTab

I prefer having all students in ONE spreadsheet rather than me having to open an individual one for each student. I accomplish this by using TemplateTab


After making a copy of the template, paste your class roster onto the first sheet. On the 2nd tab, design your graphic organizer. Perhaps it is the pixel art template or the emoji graph.

Use the menu at the top to “Run TemplateTab.”
run templatetab

You will need to authorize the add-on. It may say “Back to safety.” Do not worry, this add on is safe. I personally coded it. The authorization is warning you that no official at Google has reviewed the code. Click on “advanced” and “unsafe” (it’s safe) and authorize YOURSELF to access your Drive and Apps.

This will create a copy of the graphic organizer per student with their name on the tabs. Share the spreadsheet with the students with edit access. Each student finds their name on the tabs along the bottom and creates their graph within the same spreadsheet.
TemplateTab install

Join Betatester

You can permanently install TemplateTab to your Add-on menu by joining my beta testers group. Request to join (please do not choose the option to send the owner a message) and you should be approved within 24 hours.


After being approved for the betatester group you will be able to install TemplateTab and other add-on’s I’ve coded.

Once TemplateTab is permanently installed you can use ANY spreadsheet to create a copy per student with the student roster.

Google Apps for Littles

For more activities you can do using Google Apps with younger students, check out the book Google Apps for Littles on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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