Calculator Activity - 1
This calculator activity is an extension of one which was published as part of the National Numeracy Strategy in 1999. It has a dual focus; the first one (as you might expect) is to involve the children in accurately using a calculator. The second is to engage the children in reading numerical vocabulary.
Here's the activity:
The downloadable* sheets contain a series of 32 individual question cards. Print out, and then cut up into separate cards
Let the children work in pairs, give each pair a number of cards, and a calculator.
In their pairs the children take it in turns to be the 'reader' and the 'calculator'. The 'reader' selects a card and calls out the numbers (keeping the 'Check' value hidden). Their partner listens carefully and enters the numbers into the calculator, adding them in the process. Once complete, the child with the calculator reveals the total, if it matches the 'Check' value on the card they know the reader and the calcuator user were both accurate. They can keep the card.
If the sum and the 'Check' number does not match they should replace the card in order to repeat it again later.
The children swap roles and continue until all of their cards have been used.
- The cards are split into two (colour coded) sets: first 16 cards focus on only 'Hundreds, Tens and Units'; the remaining 16 cards include 'Thousands' and 'Tenths'.
- The numbers have not been chosen at random. They have been specifically selected to give children practice recognising and using some of the more difficult combinations (for example: Two hundred and thirty-one; Three hundred and twenty-one; One hundred and twenty-three).
- Similarly, the 'Check' numbers have been chosen so that they are easy to identify; most are palindomes, or easily recognisable numbers.
- The activity can be timed, eg. how many cards can you complete correctly in 10 minutes?
- As an extension, the 'reader' can be asked to omit one of the numbers from the list, and instead tell their partner the target value (the 'Check' number) to see if they can determine which number was missed out.
- A child could carry out the activity independently. The 'Check' numbers are low down on the cards so that if the calculator is placed over the lower part of a stack of cards, they can still enter the numbers and 'test' themselves before pulling the card up to see compare their results.
As always, let me know how useful you find these... or if you think of further adaptations.
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