73. Calculators: The New Hope

Shameless Stars Wars reference!

To explain: My Foundation GCSE class are finally realising that if they work, they might just get that elusive Grade D or even C. This is my ‘Hope’. They have been doing well with the D to C essential skills sheets by @MathedUp and are developing a positive attitude.

The ‘New’ thing is they have shown an interest in knowing how their* calculators work, for the calculator paper.

‘You mean that little button will work out powers for me?’!

* When I say their calculator I of course mean mine – they haven’t got as far as bringing in theirs from home!

I used Google images to find a clear picture of the calculators we use in school. I put it in the middle of a page and surrounded it with common calculator topics/problems:


We discussed how to use the calculator with each problem. The best students labelled the buttons, gave instructions on how to use them and even asked me for simple examples for each case. This is an example of a pupil’s sheet:


I was very impressed by their attention to detail. I gave them no instruction on what to write and they produced good revision resources. This would be a good activity for KS3 as well as D/C border students.


Update: 21st November 2013

My worksheet is available here: How to use a Calculator

2 thoughts on “73. Calculators: The New Hope

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