I've been procrastinating this post forever because I wanted to have it done in a notebook with color coding for you to see- but that didn't work out.
But my activity still has value and should be shared so here it is:
I printed calculator steps on these randomly sized labels I had in my filing cabinet and printed them IN COLOR:
We stuck the top two on the left hand page and the bottom two on the right hand page in our INBs. This is important because the colors start over on the right hand page.
The words that are in color match up with buttons on this TI-84 calculator template:
In our carts we have skinny markers so I purposely used the colors I knew we had. They colored the button on the calculator that matches the colored words.
We tape the calculator template with one piece of tape at the top over the sticker so that we could flip it up.
Here are pictures but they are not perfect- I messed up some and I had to change yellow to gray because duh, they were coloring on yellow paper. I outlined on one page and filled in on the other so students could choose which method they preferred. I also literally held this page up as they were taping so they knew EXACTLY what I wanted.
Here's the clencher:
The Calculator Handout (h/t to Julie Wright for page three)
You would think that after all that coloring they would have actually read some words on the paper...NOPE!
So now on the handout, this is a MUST....you must answer every question with one of the following:
"Look in your notebook."
"Read the directions."
Be as unhelpful as possible. In the beginning of the year, this is where you set the precedent for using the notebook as a tool.
They'll ask you what to round to, if they need to reduce, etc etc.
Be consistent! Only help if their calculator is wonky and you need to reset something.
I had an answer key ready to go and let them check their work when they were done.
While they are working, take a minute to look around and feel satisfied as they stare intently at their papers and type on their calculators and look so focused- who knows when you might see that again!