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

23 or Bust

23 or Bust

A game involving mental arithmetic and strategy for two players or one player against the computer. It is possible to beat the computer but you need a well thought out strategy.



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 2 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs Wilshaw, Dunsten Collage,Essex:

"This website was brilliant. My class and I really enjoy doing the activites."

Comment recorded on the 7 December 'Starter of the Day' page by Cathryn Aldridge, Pells Primary:

"I use Starter of the Day as a registration and warm-up activity for my Year 6 class. The range of questioning provided is excellent as are some of the images.
I rate this site as a 5!"

Comment recorded on the 19 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Lesley Sewell, Ysgol Aberconwy, Wales:

"A Maths colleague introduced me to your web site and I love to use it. The questions are so varied I can use them with all of my classes, I even let year 13 have a go at some of them. I like being able to access the whole month so I can use favourites with classes I see at different times of the week. Thanks."

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 9 April 'Starter of the Day' page by Jan, South Canterbury:

"Thank you for sharing such a great resource. I was about to try and get together a bank of starters but time is always required elsewhere, so thank you."

Comment recorded on the 18 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Mrs. Peacock, Downe House School and Kennet School:

"My year 8's absolutely loved the "Separated Twins" starter. I set it as an optional piece of work for my year 11's over a weekend and one girl came up with 3 independant solutions."

Comment recorded on the 3 October 'Starter of the Day' page by S Mirza, Park High School, Colne:

"Very good starters, help pupils settle very well in maths classroom."

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 23 September 'Starter of the Day' page by Judy, Chatsmore CHS:

"This triangle starter is excellent. I have used it with all of my ks3 and ks4 classes and they are all totally focused when counting the triangles."

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 11 January 'Starter of the Day' page by S Johnson, The King John School:

"We recently had an afternoon on accelerated learning.This linked really well and prompted a discussion about learning styles and short term memory."

Comment recorded on the 1 February 'Starter of the Day' page by M Chant, Chase Lane School Harwich:

"My year five children look forward to their daily challenge and enjoy the problems as much as I do. A great resource - thanks a million."

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 Mike Sendrove, Salt Grammar School, UK.:

"A really useful set of resources - thanks. Is the collection available on CD? Are solutions available?"

Comment recorded on the 17 November 'Starter of the Day' page by Amy Thay, Coventry:

"Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have so much material to use in class and inspire me to try something a little different more often. I am going to show my maths department your website and encourage them to use it too. How lovely that you have compiled such a great resource to help teachers and pupils.
Thanks again"

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 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!


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.

Compound Interest Calculator: A customised online calculator for quickly finding the solutions to compound interest problems.

Normal Distribution Calculator: A customised online calculator for quickly finding areas under the normal distribution curve.

Triangle Solver: Provide and three measurements for a triangle and this application will work out the remaining sides, angles and area.

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. How many different ways can it be done?

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.

Time calculations on a calculator: Time Calculations using Casio Calculator using the Degrees, Minutes and Seconds button.

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/Printables:

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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Thursday, June 29, 2017

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