Education Technology

Calculator Pattern Pizzles

Published on 06/08/2005

Activity Overview

This lesson will allow young children to explore number patterns and relationships while introducing the calculator at the same time.

Before the Activity

Prior to this lesson, pass out the calculators to students and demonstrate and explain the different buttons.

During the Activity

Students will need their own calculators. Introduce the idea of the "counting constant" and demonstrate how to make the calculator count, following the simple step-press 1 then continue to press the = button continually to have the calculator count sequentially.

By changing the initial digit, students will be able to explore patterns. (i.e. 2+2=, 4=4+,6+6=,etc.)

The same works for subtraction, starting for example at 100-1=, 100-5=.
Students will discover what a calculator can do.

Model for students a pattern puzzle: 4,8,12,16_ and ask what will the next number be? Or, 24,28,32,_,40,48_? and ask the student to fill in the missing numbers.

After the Activity

At the end of the lesson, give students the opportunity to explain their strategies for solving the pattern puzzles, either using the calculator and the counting constant function, or pencil and paper, or their mental math. Post pattern puzzles for viewing and allow other students to solve.