Public Pupil Pizza Project/Pre-Algebra and Spreadsheets

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Note: The development of this concept has moved to the Effective Education Project. This page is being left for archive purposes.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

PizzaPre-Algebra and Spreadsheets is a standards-based curriculum that is being developed to create a more effective pre-algebra course than traditional curriculums. It will include a textbook, lesson plans, handouts, and additional online resources.

From an educational perspective, the teaching of mathematics has two primary purposes. One is to give students mathematical tools that can benefit them in their lives and careers, and the other is to help students learn to think logically. The Pizza Pre-Algebra curriculum goes beyond traditional curriculums in both of these areas.

Most pre-algebra curriculums emphasize the mechanics of the mathematics, but only show part of how it can be applied. And the applications that are shown are fragmented from each other. Pizza Pre-Algebra and Spreadsheets helps learners to see direct real world uses of pre-algebra while at the same time learning correct mechanics, and this is demonstrated through a consistent set of real world examples. Students also will learn how to enhance their mathematical skills through the use of spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc.

Pizza Pre-Algebra and Spreadsheets also helps to train students’ minds to think logically. Traditionally this is not emphasized in pre-algebra but only taught in higher mathematics when the concept of a proof is introduced. In the Pizza Pre-Algebra curriculum students will continually see examples of data-guided decision making, and apply this same principle to all the work they do. By doing this they will continually get practice in the critical thinking skills that can help them not stay competitive in the 21st global job market, both in business and in science. These critical thinking skills are also a solid foundation for students to be able to understand higher mathematics including proofs and/or enter into higher education.

Further this course teaches some important topics that are missing from traditional curriculums, including a discussion of binary, hexadecimal, and Boolean algebra. These concepts are critical to understanding how computers operate, and thus are important to anyone who wants to become a computer programmer, technician, web page designer, or database administrator. Statistics will also be emphasized more than in a traditional pre-algebra class.

The curriculum is divided into units which correspond to the lifecycle of a small business. These include the planning process of opening a business, operating the business, making an e-business by having a website, and improving the business through analyzing the data and doing business intelligence. Through these stages students will learn all of the areas of mathematics that California has set in its 6th Grade and 7th grade mathematics standards.

How Information is Taught[edit | edit source]

  • Students are shown examples and do exercises for a fictitious pizza restaurant.
  • Students then create their own restaurant and do exercises for it.
  • Beyond Business: Students think and learn about what other areas use this math

What is Taught[edit | edit source]

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Spreadsheets
  • Computer Concepts
  • Business Intelligence & Data Driven Decisions
  • Problem Solving & Critical Thinking Skills

Unit - Initial Research[edit | edit source]

Business Process Pre-Algebra Grade Standards Area Standard # Spreadsheet
Using a Survey to Decide Upon a Name Percentages & Statistics 6 Number Sense 1.4 Basic Formulas
Doing Market Research to estimate number of customers Estimating
Measuring the rates of potential customers per hour, cars per hour, at different times of day to decide upon a location. Rates
Leasing or Buying the Building Rates

Unit - Thinking about the Food[edit | edit source]

Business Process Pre-Algebra Grade Standards Area Standard # Spreadsheet
Cost of Food Geometry & Units of Measurement
Bread Sticks Area of Rectangles 7 Measurement and Geometry 2.1
Pizzas Area of Circles 7 Measurement and Geometry 2.1
Pizza Boxes Volume of Boxes 7 Measurement and Geometry 2.1
Sodas Volume of Cylinders 7 Measurement and Geometry 2.1
Revisiting the Volume of Bread sticks and Pizza Volume of Boxes and Cylinders 7 Measurement and Geometry 2.1
Ice Cream Volume of Spheres and Cones 7 Measurement and Geometry 2.1

Unit - Thinking about Logistics[edit | edit source]

Business Process Pre-Algebra Grade Standards Area Standard # Spreadsheet
Where can Triangles and Pythagorean theorem Go?
Buying Equipment
Initial Inventory
Getting a Loan Interest Rates
What should we charge (how much of a markup?)
Should we actually do it?

Logistics of the Location needs to be added more , like how many people can fit. Also, maybe some construction projects can be added to reinforce some geometry, and teach the pythag theorem and do triangles, etc.

Unit - Operating the Business[edit | edit source]

  1. Sales Tax
  2. Percentage Increase
  3. Order of Operations
  4. Grand Opening Sale
  5. Percentage Decrease
  6. Promotions and Give Aways and Buy one get one free, etc

Unit - Hiring Employees[edit | edit source]

|| Estimating Employee Productivity || Rates |- || Employee Wages || Rates |- || Employee Taxes || Percentages

Unit - Going Online (Making an E-Business)[edit | edit source]

  1. What are we going to do with our website?
  2. How much will the website cost?
  3. Hourly Rates of Designer
  4. Data Storage Sizes for Text, Pictures, Sound & Video
  5. Different Base Systems (Binary vs Decimal)
  6. Powers
  7. Scientific Notation

Unit - Improving Business (Business Intelligence)[edit | edit source]

  1. Accounting in Spreadsheet
  2. Database in Spreadsheet
  3. Analyzing Database
  4. Boolean Algebra
  5. More Statistics
  6. Graphs (lines and Parabolas)
  7. Absolute Values?

Sample Lessons[edit | edit source]

Note: This section should be moved into WikiBooks once the Units get Outlined

Lesson 1 – Introducing Jane

Jane has always dreamed of opening her own pizza parlor. She LOVES pizza. She has been eating pizza since she was a kid, and started cooking her own pizzas while a teenager. As an adult she decided that she would start her own business.

Like any potential business owner she wanted her business to succeed. She realized in order to succeed in business she needed to have the right tools, and know how to use them. Very early on in the process, Jane realized that she was going to need to know a lot more about math in order to successfully start her business. Through this book we will be following her life, and learning along with her about the mathematics required in this type of venture.

You will also be planning your own imaginary restaurant in the process, following some of the examples you learn from Jane’s business. You will also learn how to apply these mathematical tools to other parts of your life. In your future, you may not opt to ever create your own business, but by better understanding the process of how business works, you will be able to be a more capable employee, and have more power over your personal life.

Jane realized that in order to succeed in business she needed to make sure that she made good decisions. But she quickly realized that she wouldn’t truly know whether a decision was good or bad until after she made it. She knew that was about as good as gambling and that there must be a method she could use to help make sure her decisions were good.

Jane started reading business books about how to start her own company, and found out about the idea called data guided decisions. The concept was very simple, before making a decision a person should try to gather as much relevant information as possible and analyze that information to try and figure out which decision would be the most likely to lead to success. This concept of understanding a business and its environment is also often called Business Intelligence or BI for short.

Throughout this textbook you will see examples of how data can guide the decision making process. This is basically the scientific process, but used for business.

Jane also knew that she didn’t want to do all the mathematics by hand. So she bought a computer, and put a spreadsheet program on it. A spreadsheet program is basically a very advanced calculator that allows you to put information in a grid, and calculate automatically different entries in that grid. Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc are two very popular spreadsheet programs. In this book we will try to use examples that will work in nearly any spreadsheet program. In the back of this book you will find a CD that contains OpenOffice that you can install on your home computer if you wish.

Lesson 1 Questions:

1. Describe what “Data Guided Decision Making” means: 2. Why might you want to use a spreadsheet program? 3. Start thinking about what type of imaginary restaurant you might want to open. Write down several different ideas you may have: 4. Do you think Data Guided Decision Making can help out in personal decisions as well as business decisions? Explain your answer.

Lesson 2 – Thinking up a Name