Tuesday, January 6, 2009


DCM202 The first lesson was on the roles of calculators in the upper primary classroom. The students were given two (or three) tasks to complete to set them thinking about the role of calculators in the learning process. In particular, I want them to ask themselves if those activities can be done without calculator. I also want them to see different ways calculator is used in the classroom.

One of the activities was to find a pair of two-digit numbers such that AB x CD = BA x DC, i.e. the products of the numbers do not change the digits in each number is reversed. Let's call this the Reverse problem.

As expected, solutions such as 11 x 22 and 23 x 32 came quickly. The others (see the photo) came later. I was pleased that students could see interesting patterns including expected ones.

Questions for the students: How is calculator used differently in this activity compared to the Sleepless in Singapore activity? Are you able to design another activity for upper primary students where the calculator is used in the same way as it was used for the Reverse problem?

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