Library Digital Content Access

Using a Calculator

Created By: Marilyn Cimino, Dr.Howard Elementary School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 4th
Content Area: Mathematics
Database Integration: For this project students will use the TDC database to access information about various types of pottery used around the world.

Using a Calculator to Explore Special Quotients

Calculators play an increasingly vital role in learning at school as well as in our society. For many years, calculators have played an often-controversial role in the classroom. During my career I have been instructed to teach students how to use a calculator, as well as being instructed to not allow students to use calculators in class. Presently, 4th grade students do not use calculators in the math portion of the standard achievement test, but it is my job to introduce the calculator in preparation for standardized testing in 5th grade. As inexpensive as calculators are today, I am amazed at how many students neither own nor understand the functions on a simple calculator.

This lesson plan was designed to integrate technology with the multiple math patterns of 1 and 0. This lesson can also be used as a mnemonic device application that is memorization of facts being taught through a memory-assisted system. Another important component of this lesson is to stimulate interest in math through active learning. Students enjoy self-correcting their instructional activities using calculators. Exploring the multiple uses of a simple calculator enhances divergent thinking and creativity.

This is and FUN and EXCITING lesson for all students!





A day before this assignment is given, introduce the functions of a calculator using the special calculator for use on the overhead. Let students become familiar with the signs and abbreviations.

This assignment can be given to those students that are capable of reading and following directions independently. For at-risk and low-ability students I suggest that the third master be done in small groups.

Sample worksheet:

Name _____________________________
Technology Master

Using a Calculator to Explore Special Quotients
Use the ~cons~ key to complete the multiples of 1 and 0.
Multiples of 1
Multiples of 0
x 1 ~cons~ ~cons~ x 1 x 0 ~cons~ ~cons~ x 0
0 ~cons~ 0 0 x 0 ~cons~ 0
1 ~cons~ 1 0 x 1 ~cons~ 0
2 ~cons~ 2 0 x 2 ~cons~ 0
___ ~cons~ ___ 0 x _ ~cons~ ___
___ ~cons~ ___ 0 x _ ~cons~ ___
___~cons~ ___ 0 x _ ~cons~ ___
___ ~cons~ ___ 0 x _ ~cons~ ___

What is the pattern for multiplying a number by 1?


What is the pattern for multiplying a number by 0?


Now, try x 7 ~cons~ and write the pattern below.


Next, try x 10 ~cons~ and write the pattern below.



Go over the answers together using the overhead and have student self-correct. Discuss why patterns were found and why.