Transum Maths Software

Using A Calculator

There are 366 different Starters of The Day, many to choose from. You will find in the left column below some starters on the topic of Using A Calculator. In the right column below are links to related online activities, videos and teacher resources.

A lesson starter does not have to be on the same topic as the main part of the lesson or the topic of the previous lesson. It is often very useful to revise or explore other concepts by using a starter based on a totally different area of Mathematics.

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Using A Calculator Starters:

Big Order: Estimate or calculate then put the large numbers in order of size.

Breathe Easily: How many breaths have you taken in your lifetime?

Broken Calculator: Use only the 1, 5 and 0 keys on a calculator to make given totals.

Broken Calculator (3 and 4): Some keys are missing from this calculator. Just how useful is it?

Calc-A-Hundred: A game for two players requiring a calculator and thinking skills.

Calculator Nim: A game in which players take turns to add a single-digit number to what is already in the calculator. The winner is the player who makes the display show 30.

Digital Lights: Questions about the Small LEDs used to make up the digits on a calculator display.

Divided Age: How old is a person if when her age is divided by certain numbers, the calculator display ending are as shown.

Faulty Button: Find out which of the calculator keys is faulty from the given information. A mathematical puzzle requiring good problem solving strategies.

Four Gone: An activity involving a broken calculator which is missing the four button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the four?

Inbetweens: Find fractions between two given values.

Noodlewhack: Divide one whole number by another on your calculator. If the answer has one digit repeated but no other digits you have a Noodlewhack.

Only One Number: Find other numbers that can be changed to 1 on a calculator using only the 4 key and any operation.

Recurring Decimal: Use your calculator to find which whole number divided by another whole number gives the answer 1.36363636

Render Digitful: Find a calculation for the current year which uses all of the digits 1 to 9.

Six Discrimination: An activity involving a calculator which is missing the six button. Can you evaluate the given expressions without using the six?

Six Keys: Use just six calculator keys to make a total of 20. In how many different ways can it be done?

Top Transfer: Beginning with 100 on your calculator, what is the largest and smallest totals you can end up with after travelling through each of the possible routes.

 

Small images of these Starters | | |  Complete Index of Starters

Featured Activity

Tower of Hanoi

Tower of Hanoi

Move the pieces of the tower from one place to another in the minimum number of moves. This puzzle was invented in 1883 but is still as captivating today as it was all those years ago.

 

Feedback:

Comment recorded on the 24 May 'Starter of the Day' page by Ruth Seward, Hagley Park Sports College:

"Find the starters wonderful; students enjoy them and often want to use the idea generated by the starter in other parts of the lesson. Keep up the good work"

Comment recorded on the 10 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Transum, :

"Sorry Mike, because some of the starters link to live data on the Internet there is no CD version. Thanks for your comments."

Comment recorded on the 28 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Malcolm P, Dorset:

"A set of real life savers!!
Keep it up and thank you!"

Comment recorded on the 12 July 'Starter of the Day' page by Miss J Key, Farlingaye High School, Suffolk:

"Thanks very much for this one. We developed it into a whole lesson and I borrowed some hats from the drama department to add to the fun!"

Comment recorded on the 19 October 'Starter of the Day' page by E Pollard, Huddersfield:

"I used this with my bottom set in year 9. To engage them I used their name and favorite football team (or pop group) instead of the school name. For homework, I asked each student to find a definition for the key words they had been given (once they had fun trying to guess the answer) and they presented their findings to the rest of the class the following day. They felt really special because the key words came from their own personal information."

Comment recorded on the 26 March 'Starter of the Day' page by Julie Reakes, The English College, Dubai:

"It's great to have a starter that's timed and focuses the attention of everyone fully. I told them in advance I would do 10 then record their percentages."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by Terry Shaw, Beaulieu Convent School:

"Really good site. Lots of good ideas for starters. Use it most of the time in KS3."

Comment recorded on the 17 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Hall, Light Hall School, Solihull:

"Dear Transum,

I love you website I use it every maths lesson I have with every year group! I don't know were I would turn to with out you!"

Comment recorded on the 5 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Stoner, St George's College of Technology:

"This resource has made a great deal of difference to the standard of starters for all of our lessons. Thank you for being so creative and imaginative."

Comment recorded on the 14 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Trish Bailey, Kingstone School:

"This is a great memory aid which could be used for formulae or key facts etc - in any subject area. The PICTURE is such an aid to remembering where each number or group of numbers is - my pupils love it!
Thanks"

Comment recorded on the 21 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Mr Trainor And His P7 Class(All Girls), Mercy Primary School, Belfast:

"My Primary 7 class in Mercy Primary school, Belfast, look forward to your mental maths starters every morning. The variety of material is interesting and exciting and always engages the teacher and pupils. Keep them coming please."

Comment recorded on the 14 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger Kisby, Herts and Essex High School:

"Just a quick note to say that we use a lot of your starters. It is lovely to have so many different ideas to start a lesson with. Thank you very much and keep up the good work."

Comment recorded on the 25 June 'Starter of the Day' page by Inger.kisby@herts and essex.herts.sch.uk, :

"We all love your starters. It is so good to have such a collection. We use them for all age groups and abilities. Have particularly enjoyed KIM's game, as we have not used that for Mathematics before. Keep up the good work and thank you very much
Best wishes from Inger Kisby"

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by Fiona Bray, Cams Hill School:

"This is an excellent website. We all often use the starters as the pupils come in the door and get settled as we take the register."

Notes:

All pupils should learn to calculate accurately, selecting mental methods or calculating devices as appropriate. Pupils, through practice, should learn to use the most appropriate method to perform a calculation. It is appropriate for them to use a calculator when performing a calculation without a calculator will take an inappropriate amount of time.

In addition to simply finding answers, calculators provide a fascinating opportunity for pupils to investigate number patterns, properties and relationships. They can easily use a calculator to learn more about Mathematics through open ended explorations, games and puzzles.

On this website you can find activities which help pupils practise calculator skills and become more familiar with this essential tool whether it be basic, scientific or a graphic display calculator (GDC).

To specifically practise using a GDC there is nothing better than our Exam-Style Questions which include worked solutions, many of which contain screen shots of the TI-nSpire GDC.

Using A Calculator Teacher Resources:

Calculator Workout: An animated guide to using a scientific calculator for Secondary and High School students.

Using A Calculator Activities:

BIDMAS: A self marking exercise testing the application of BIDMAS, an acronym describing the order of operations used when evaluating expressions.

Broken Calculator: Some of the buttons are missing from this calculator. Can you make the totals from 1 to 20?

Calculator Words: Turn your calculator upside down to make words out of the answers to these questions.

Calculator Workout: An animated guide to using a scientific calculator for Secondary and High School students.

Consecutive Numbers: Find the consective numbers that are added or multiplied to give the given totals

Make 1000: Use the numbers on the strange calculator to make a total of 1000

Make an expression: Use the digits given to form an expression equivalent to the given total.

Six Discrimination: The six button has dropped off! How could these calculations be done using this calculator?

Six Keys: Use just six keys on your calculator to make a given total.

Using A Calculator: Questions to test your ability to use a basic calculator, scientific calculator and a graphic display calculator.

Using A Calculator Videos:

TI-Nspire CX CAS overview: This is a PowerPoint introduction used to give teachers an overview of the TI-Nspire.

Using a Calculator: Want to know how to use your scientific calculator? We thought this might be useful - here's an easy to follow, step by step guide.

Using A Calculator Worksheets:

Calculator Workout Record: A printable sheet on which pupils can make notes and keep a record of the calculator skills they learn.

Using A Calculator External Links:

Links to other websites containing resources for Using A Calculator are provided for those logged into 'Transum Mathematics'. Subscribing also opens up the opportunity for you to add your own links to this panel. You can sign up using one of the buttons below:

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