A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Number Bowling

Friday, 22 June 2007 | 0 Comments

Another game, this time for the most basic “technology” in the maths classroom – the calculator.

We use Sharp calculators at school, and looking through their web-site I found a Teacher’s Resource Book that includes a couple of simple games for the calculator.  You can also download the individual games on the Sharp US web-site.

One that I’ve used so far is called Number Bowling.  This game gets students recognising place value as well as doing some mental operations.

One player enters a 3-digit number into the calculator.  The other player knocks down the “pins” one at a time.  So, if the student had entered 638, the first pin to knock down is 8, by subtracting 8.  Now with 630 on the screen, the next pin is 3, so subtract 30.  Students take turns, and each round can increase the number of digits.

In the download from Sharp, there’s also an addition version: starting from 638, the aim is to get 1000, one pin at a time.  This is a little bit trickier, because they aren’t just using the numbers on the screen, but adding a number that will turn to the number on the screen to 10, 100, 1000.

The class I played this with got into it…

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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