Database Activity Schedule

(Adapted from "Classroom Computer Learning," April, 1988)

Day 1: As a ten minute activity, students write their name, sex, birth month, favorite food, sport, color, number of pets on a 3X5 card.

Preparation for Day 2: Teacher designs a database record and inputs student information from 3X5 cards. See Database Detectives Discover Democracy. Teacher then makes copies in list form so students can easily input data.

Day 2: Teacher models how to design a data record and input data. Use Worksheet for Designing Database Record from Database Detectives Discover Democracy. Working individually, students design database record and begin to input provided data. They save data under an agreed upon name (ex: Brian's class) and note computer they are using.

Day 3: Students finish data input; then check for errors. Describing the concept of GIGO - Garbage in Garbage out, teacher models the importance of data accuracy for correct results.

Preparation for Day 4: Teacher "rigs" mystery by searching database. To insure maximum searching and sorting experience, teacher starts with the category shared by most students and works down. Example: 12 students like pizza, 10 students who like pizza are boys; 6 students who like pizza are boys, and also like blue. Narrow data down, until evidence points to one classroom "culprit."

Day 4: Students learn mystery topic: Someone sneaked into the classroom and used the computer for video games. Understanding they must solve the problem by responding to clues left by the guilty person, they listen to the first clue - a stale piece of pizza. Students follow teacher's detailed steps and search. They continue to the next clue - a copy of Boys' Life magazine in the trash and the third - a blue pencil next to a computer. As teacher walks students through the process, they beg to search on their own by the third or fourth clue. With the discovery of the culprit, DataBase Detectives are energized and fully involved in this classroom simulation.