Meet the Calculator
Most children had seen a calculator before but had little experience in using one or knew what it could do. Naturally with any new ‘gadget’ the children needed some time to freely explore it for themselves. However, after this initial exploration some probing questions were asked such as: “Have you ever seen anyone use a calculator? Where? What did they use it for? Do the numbers on the calculator look different from numbers you have seen elsewhere? How?” The children were really curious and responded with
not only answers but also asked such questions as:
“What does the red button do? What happens if I press this?” A lot of language was being used, questioning techniques being practiced as well as an excellent demonstration of inquisitive minds working things out for themselves!
Using the calculators to input numerals in order to answer a series of questions such as How many toes do you have on one foot? or How many legs does an ant have? freed the children from writing numerals and enabled them to work with and explore numbers more easily. I was really impressed by the children’s use of the calculators and could see a sense of accomplishment and confidence immediately. The calculators really motivated the children’s interest in and curiosity, about numbers. Using this simple technological tool proved to be an extremely effective learning experience for the KC class.
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