Many people use Google Sheets to add numbers, create a budget, keep track of items, etc. However, there is a creative way to use Google Sheets that even preschools can take advantage of…Pixel Art!

This idea was found from the Google Apps for Littles book by Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler, and can be applied to any grade level.  The idea is that you use conditional formatting to change the colors of the cells. When a certain number is entered into a cell, that cell turns the color that you designate. For example, based on the picture below, if the number 4 is entered in any cell, once you hit your return key, that cell will turn green.

You can make any color match any value within conditional formatting. Again, based on the picture, if the number 3 is entered into a cell, that cell will turn yellow. Other options are to turn a color based on a date, if the number is greater than something else, text starts with a certain letter, and many more.

This idea can be used for solving math problems, too, which in turn creates a pretty picture.

Teacher puts math problems inside the cells.

Students solve the math problems. If each problem is solved correctly, it makes a picture.

Students can even create their own math problem picture to give to another student to solve. **If you choose to do this, it is helpful for the students to create the picture first on a separate sheet, and then go back and set up the math problems. You can then hide the sheet with the picture, so that the other students don’t see it.

Below are the template links. The only difference between Alice’s and mine is that I added the color gray for number 10, as we needed it for the picture at the top. Remember that anything can be changed in the conditional formatting part of Google Sheets.

Alice Keeler’s Pixel Art Template

Kristie’s Pixel Art Template

Kristie Hughes on Email
Kristie Hughes
Educational Technologist @ Northern Buckeye
Google Certified Trainer