Calculator Activity - 1

Calculator activity for childrenThis 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:

Calculation acitivity for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2The 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Adaptations

  1. The activity can be timed, eg. how many cards can you complete correctly in 10 minutes?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Download calcuator game - image
 

As always, let me know how useful you find these... or if you think of further adaptations.

 

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31 Comments

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Thank you so much!! This a

Thank you so much!! This a lovely resource to use in the classroom. It is also easy enough to adapt alternative strategies once the child has 'mastered' the calculator role and reader role. I love it!
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josema21's picture

Thanks for sharing. We need

Thanks for sharing. We need more activities to use calculators.
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suekparkes's picture

 Thanks for this resource.

 Thanks for this resource. Will help to embed vocabulary as well as develop calculator skills.
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wonderdog's picture

Excellent resource. The chn

Excellent resource. The chn love 'playing' with calculators and this way I am working on their place value and number recognition at the same time.
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Vikki R's picture

Thanks, what a wonderful

Thanks, what a wonderful game. The children really enjoyed playing it.
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Shani's picture

 I used this resource today

 I used this resource today along with the 2nd part and the calcu-route game. The lesson was fantastic - the children were so excited by the resources that they were engaged from start to end . Thanks!   Love the resources on here as they are such good quality and totally agree with the idea of your points system.
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johdu's picture

Shani, Very many thanks for

Shani, Very many thanks for your enthusiastic and postive feedback. It's really good to hear. I have had a bit of a 'dull' day... and this has really cheered me up!
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pixielish's picture

 I was looking for calculator

 I was looking for calculator resources for KS1 - they are incredibly scarce. This looks great, thanks. :)
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archee4's picture

I have always struggled to

I have always struggled to think of exciting things to do for number and word matching... this is perfect.. the children will love using the calculators and will be reading the numbers at the same time .. simple, yet effective!
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kha16460's picture

I took it for granted that

I took it for granted that children were able to input numbers from verbal instructions, but boy was I wrong. A great way of finding out though and it really made the children think about what we all sometimes takes for granted! Highly recommended. Can also easily be adapted for multipication, division and subtraction. For more able children, can also try percentages so children understand how to use this function to calculate % amounts or % increases/decreases :-)
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lanny's picture

This looks perfect for

This looks perfect for promoting good listening skills and fostering co-operative partner work whilst developing good calculator skills. I also love the MFL idea suggested by Shelagh. Thank You.
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Shelagh's picture

Versatile and effective

Versatile and effective resource. Numbers could be written in French, for example, to promote MFL/Mathematics cross curricular links!
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johdu's picture

 I love your MFL idea here.

 I love your MFL idea here. Thanks for sharing.
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Thinking of adapting this to

Thinking of adapting this to include other operations. Fab!
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sue mac's picture

Great activity to keep

Great activity to keep children interested at end of term. Thanks
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katanla's picture

In most instances I work 1:1

In most instances I work 1:1 with remedial students. I can use this resource several ways. Thank you.
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hilaryd66's picture

We are desperately short of

We are desperately short of calculators in school, so this paired activity is perfect :) Thank you
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Tina09's picture

Used in a 1:1 session last

Used in a 1:1 session last week - a fun, confidence builder & the 'Check' was a real self-motivator to 'try again' - observed such careful finger tapping second time around! Lots of little 'yays' when the answers matched... The characters create a simple but appealing format for what could otherwise be a fairly dull activity. Cheers!
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josema21's picture

Thanks, very usefl material

Thanks, very usefl material
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johdu's picture

Thank you kathryn. The

Thank you kathryn. The inspiration for the illustrations came from the Order of The Stick comics.

Upturned calculator calculations - yes, I used to use these in school and have a set planned for this site. They nearly appeared in the Christmas Activities eBook. But I ran out of time. Watch this space.

John

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kathryn's picture

I love the illustrations!

I love the illustrations! Could you make some calculator activities that end up with a word when the calculator is turned upside down?
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dr1506's picture

My class love maths games and

My class love maths games and are so excited when I bring in a new resource from your site. They are so child orientated they don't realise that they are actually doing work. Genius. Thank you
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deeno's picture

Brilliant way of promoting

Brilliant way of promoting listening, place value and all important calculator skills.
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eleriw's picture

Love these.... theyre great x

Love these.... theyre great x
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vickyjarvis's picture

great resource

great resource
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christine's picture

Love it! Very useful for

Love it! Very useful for listening and reading skills
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great activity

great activity
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love this activity. very

love this activity. very useful in the classroom
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_lizzie_'s picture

Great idea. I'm always

Great idea. I'm always looking for new and interesting ways of getting the children to read maths vocabulary.
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TJoyce's picture

Good idea, will help to

Good idea, will help to promote listening skills
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