Calculator activitities for 2nd grade

I would like to know a simple activity that i could do with a grade 2 student, which involves using the calculator.

Here are a few ideas. Hopefully they are of help.

  • Add or subtract the same number repeatedly.

    For example, start with 5, subtract 1 several times, and let the child see what happens -- he/she will get to negative numbers!

    Similarly, ask the student to start with 40 and subtract 10 repeatedly. Some children will be surprised at the negative numbers they will see -- but many will be able to understand the basics of how they work, just from simple calculator activities like these.
  • Start with any 2-digit number and add 100 repeatedly. For example, starting with 17, your 2nd grader will see the sequence 17, 117, 217, 317, 417, and so on.
  • Start with a 3-digit number and subtract 50 repeatedly. Again, you will get a definite pattern.
  • Ask the students to come up with their own patterns where they add or subtract the same number repeatedly. Let them share their patterns and ask fellow students to figure out how they were created.
  • Let children discover large numbers by multiplying by 10. Ask them how much is 10 hundreds, and tell them that you can get that by multiplying 10 x 100. It is a thousand. Now, ask them how much is 10 thousands? How about 10 x 10,000? And 10 x 100,000? This can pique their curiosity to learn the names for these larger numbers.

Lastly, here's a two-player calculator game for you:

Player 1 chooses a 3-digit number and tells it to player 2. Player 2 now has to "make" that number by starting at some bigger number and subtracting something -- it could be several numbers. For example, if player 1 chooses 315, player 2 could "make" this number on the calculator with 400 - 80 - 5. Then, switch turns.


Anonymous said…
There is also this really cool book called "Calculator Riddles" by David A. Adler that has fun riddles to solve using the calcultor. You may want to be selective with the one's your child attempts but they are really fun! It involves multiplication, subtraction, and addition. I teach 2nd grade and my kids thought it was awesome!

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