Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Not only do I get some great ideas by blogging, it also allows me to reflect while sharing what's going on in my classroom. After a math activity today, I am wondering why I haven't introduced calculators before now. I assumed since my first graders are surrounded with Wii's, ActivBoards, iPods, PDA's, and Smartphones, they knew something about calculators. I let them explore before presenting the problem.

"It's not working!" is what I heard when I told them to add the numbers in a pattern. One student was confident that he had the answer. When I walked around to see what was happening, most of the calculators had, 53535353. Yikes! We were a little late for class pictures while we went step-by-step to solve the problem. The students were amazed when they finally pressed the equals key, and the number 32 appeared.

Lesson Learned: Introduce calculators like it is a brand new form of technology. One student insisted that calculators would make a great phone. :) After we learn more about calculators, a few will be put in our math centers for students to practice independently. I'll be looking for and sharing some calculator math activities.


  1. I can't wait to see your activities. I have also been meaning to introduce my students to calculators, but it seems to have gotten lost in the snow days, holidays, and catching up! Glad you reminded me of this one. :)


  2. Whenever I give my students something new, I give them exploring time. This year's class had to make me laugh while exploring the calculators...I had several students that had never seen a calculator, and thought it was a cell phone!! They were holding it up to their ears and trying to talk! NOTE: *This was early in the year but still!! I can relate to your situation!!!

  3. Ash, I think I'll work on some activities this weekend.
    Mrs. Wheeler, You gotta love 'em. They do make me laugh.