The learner plays this game with the calculator ... An adult is needed to help introduce the activity. ## Preparation- One calculator per child (there's one on your phone)
- Maths journal or sheets of working paper that can be collected into a folio of dated work.
## Getting StartedWhen used as described, this is one of the most powerful calculator activities we know. Once learnt, it needs to be used for 15-20 minutes, at least three times a week for several weeks. Any assisting adult should try very hard to let the calculator do the correcting, rather than telling the child their prediction is wrong.
The process of - There is no need to intervene once you have done the first five or so together, ie: 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, ...
- It is important that the child is encouraged to continue beyond the numbers they may normally use.
- When a problem develops, encourage the child to look back at their correct guesses to establish clues for the next guess.
## Learning From ExperienceQuite often with this example, the first time the calculator contradicts the learner is the next count after 100. Children often predict it is 200.Let the calculator do the correcting. Then they put a line through the 200 and write 110 as the calculator has written. Your role is to encourage the learner to look back at the developing pattern and encourage them to use that information to predict the one after 110 and then keep going. Keep insisting that they only need to make a guess - the calculator will tell them if their guess is right or wrong. This private reinforcement and correction is very powerful. Insisting on writing the guess, and ticking and crossing it, is a vital management strategy. It is particularly useful if a child pushes the wrong buttons (which they will know) or accidentally clears their calculator. After consultation you need only suggest the child re-enters the last correct response, teaches the calculator to count again, and continues.
Have fun exploring Predict A Count.These photos are from Bradley, Year 2. In the first week of school he learnt Predict A Count using the example above. What the teacher didn't know was that he loved it so much he kept working on it at home. In the second week of school he brought in 13 pages of Predict A Count to show the new teacher what he had done. The left photo shows the first page where he continued counting from 580, which was where he got up to at school. Notice that at the end of this page he successful 'crosses over' 1000. The right photo shows that he went as far as 10,000.
## Just Before You FinishSometimes when time is up for this activity ask the child to look back at the data and see what they notice. Then they record a sentence or two about what they notice. If the child is very young, you write what they say.- Use the Working Like A Mathematician page to frame your conversation with the child. For example:
*Mathematician's make predictions like that too. They say they are making a hypothesis. You must be working just like a mathematician.*
*Mathematicians love it when they find a pattern like that. Well done. That means you are working like a mathematician.*
## VariationsIt is the variations based on the mathematician's questionWhat happens if ...? which make this activity so adaptable to a wide range of ages - even adults.
- What happens if we alter the starting number.
*Make it as hard as you can for yourself.* - What happens if we alter the size of the counting group.
*I'll bet you couldn't count by 0·5s today.* - What happens if we count backwards using subtraction.
*How could you teach the calculator to count backwards?* - What happens if we choose our own starting number
*and*group counting number*and*whether to count forwards or backwards. - What happens if we choose a decimal starting number and count by a decimal.
## Answers & DiscussionThese notes were originally written for teachers. We have included them to support parents to help their child learn from Predict A Count.- Notes for Predict A Count.
Send any comments or photos about this activity and we can start a gallery here.
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