Ask each student, or pair of students to select a button on the calculator. Tell them that you expect them to become experts in the way that button works. Ask them to find out everything they can about:
These questions are likely to generate considerable exploration and discussion in a broad range of content. After all, decimals and negative numbers, for example, which are often 'reserved' for older children are likely to occur in a free exploration that might result in studying the division or subtraction buttons. For example, consider the last few lines of Sarah's work in Predict A Count.
- what it does by itself.
- what it does in conjunction with other buttons.
- any situations where it seems to have a special effect.
- how the calculator would have to be used if this button was not on the calculator.
(We would be happy to provide space here to publish any of your students' insights that might help your colleagues see additional value in this activity.)
- decimal calculations
- decimal interpretation
- decimal representation of a fraction
- negative numbers
- number line - ordering, operations
- operations - whole number
- order of operations
- pattern generalisation
- pattern interpretation
- pattern recognition
- properties of number
- recording - calculator
- recording - written