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.