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Happy Dashboards: Frogs, Formulas & Queries for Happy Tracking

This summer at almost every wetland, trail or park we visited, my kids made it a point to look for, and tally the frogs we spotted. My daughter says "small eyes see bigger," and her six-year old eyes outperformed mine at spotting the various shades of browns, coppers, and greens floating between the lily pads and the murky shores of Southeast Michigan waters.

Tracking our observations:

My kids are natural counters & observers, and I have a knack for counting things too so I decided to transcribe their analog observations, digitally via Google Sheets. If their eyes see bigger, my brain forgets faster, so I began tracking daily for my own recording. I began by keeping track of where we spotted frogs, and this evolved intro tracking other outdoor activities and recording more unique animals and experiences we encountered along the way. Once we accumulated a few weeks of data we began to extract structured numeric data into a visual story-board. I momentarily transformed being my student's learner, to being the teacher to demonstrate how to query structured data into an aggregate sum and creative storytelling in one hybrid dashboard we titled Happy Tracking. Tracking teaches us to keep track of progress and goals, and is a fun interactive way where my kids are excited to add data, and watch the charts morph throughout the month. I plan to add a mini instructional video of how to extract structured data into creative, lesser-structured dashboards. For now, here's a 2D example of our first Happy Dashboard.

If you are a teacher, tutor or a fellow spiritual explorer of our surrounding environment, and would like to collaborate on a Happy Dashboard, contact Roni.


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