Calculator Activity - 2

Calculator activity - addition and subtraction resource

This is a follow-up to our popular Calculator Activity-1.

While that original resource focused exclusively on Addition, this one helps children develop their understanding (and accuracy) when reading written numbers and calculating with both addition and subtraction.

 

Here is the activity:

The pdf file consists of 3 pages of 8 cards, print out the whole thing and then cut the pages into separate 'cards'.

Calculator ActivityThe children work in pairs; each pair has a number of cards, and a calculator between them. The mix the card face-down between them, and then choose to be either the 'reader' or the 'calculator'.

The 'reader' chooses a card and reads out the numbers and the functions one line at a time (keeping the 'Check' value hidden). Their partner listens carefully and enters the numbers and the functions into the calculator. Once complete, he reveals the final answer, if it matches the 'Check' value on the card they know that both the reader and the calculator user were accurate, as a result they can keep the card!

If the final answer and the 'Check' number do not match they should place the card on the bottom of the pile in order to re-use it later.

The children swap roles and continue until all of their cards have been used.

Notes

  • The mixed vocabulary on the cards consists of: Subtract, Take-away, Minus; Add, Plus.
  • The calculations are designed to be carried out in the order in which they appear on the cards... they do not take account of BODMAS. For older children it may be useful to discuss this with them... what would happen if the calculations were carried out in a different order? In some cases it would not make any difference? Which ones, why? In other cases, changing the order of the calculations will change the final answer.
  • As before, the numbers have not been chosen at random. They have been specifically selected to give children practice.
  • The 'Check' numbers have also been chosen so that they are easy to identify; they are all primes.

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.

Here's a thumbnail image of the three page download.

calculator - addition and subtraction

As always, let us know how this activity works for you... or if you develop further adaptations.

We have another version of this activity using all four functions, this is available via the mathsticks+ dashboard.

14 Comments

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mrsreturner's picture

Different type of activity to

Different type of activity to use with talk partners on our Friday afternoon maths session.
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jholder's picture

Look forward to using this!

Look forward to using this! My class don't use a calculator accurately and then say that it must be broken when actually they've pressed the wrong buttons or not cancelled mistakes. It will also develop their listening skills!
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teachinginitaly's picture

Great extension activity.

Great extension activity. Thank-you :-)
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FionaER25's picture

Perfect for extending more

Perfect for extending more able in Y1
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suekparkes's picture

 Great way of moving on from

 Great way of moving on from calculator activity 1 once they have grasped the calculator concept. Fantastic quick starter for embedding the skills.
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Munazzah Najib's picture

this is an excellent maths

this is an excellent maths resource that you can laminate and use again and again. thanks
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repreecedawson's picture

Looks great for reinforcing

Looks great for reinforcing the vocabulary of addition and subtraction, and for some calculator practice.  
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ruthford's picture

Thank you for these

Thank you for these activities. I found the reference to the article about using calculators only for checking thought provoking and helpful. I teach grade 2 and 3 students who are just learning to manipulate larger numbers, and have to say that I have suggested that a calculator is a useful tool for cross checking their work.  But I am going to rethink what else we use it for. Thanks.
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johdu's picture

Ruthford, I do agree with

Ruthford, I do agree with you. Using a calculator to check is fine - but it's helpful if it's not the only thing children (of whatever age) use it for. The Guardian article was (as is typical of newspapers) rather sensationalist... The truth, of course, is that moderation, good sense, and a thorough understanding of the children/learners we are working with is al we really need.  
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Jherek's picture

Thanks, was looking for

Thanks, was looking for something to boost our vocabulary!
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rkaur3's picture

Great activity - thank you.

Great activity - thank you. Have been looking for resources to make addition and subtraction more fun. Thank you.  
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learningparade's picture

My class love this activity,

My class love this activity, it's great for independent extension work as the cards are self checking. Great! :)
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Tina09's picture

Loved the first version & so

Loved the first version & so did Y5 - this one even better! Focussing on building & reinforcing maths vocab with mine so appreciate the thought that's gone into this activity. Thanks again. Another good one! PS Will be sharing site link with a new teaching buddy in the US. Spreading the word...
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johdu's picture

Thanks again for the comment

Thanks again for the comment - It's good to hear that this new version is even better than the original. Cheers.
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