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Summary Basic activities Forwards and backwards Turning Roamer Music

To get rid of the demonstration program press CM CM. Roamer is now ready to be programmed.
In all the following activities it is important to clear the memory each time before programming Roamer.

Sit the class in a circle, place Roamer in the centre. Show how to clear the memory and program Roamer:
(If you have the playing cards you can lay out the appropriate cards for them to see which buttons you're pressing.)
Place a marker at the back of Roamer, press GO and once Roamer has completed its program, place another marker at the back of Roamer. Remove Roamer so they can see what I unit is. Place Roamer between the two markers so they can see that 1 unit = 1 Roamer.
Repeat this exercise asking different children to place the second marker where they think Roamer will stop. Try starting at different locations so that they are not using a bit of fluff on the carpet or some such oddity to judge the distance but are really having to visualise a Roamer unit.

This exercise is crucial to begin estimating correctly. In order to understand measurement children need to know what unit is being used and for estimation they need to be able to visualise the unit.

Class still sitting in a circle. Place Roamer in front of a child and ask who they would like to send it to. Point Roamer in the right direction and ask them to estimate the distance. At this point pacing out is very helpful. As the child paces it out the others can count the steps. Program the Roamer accordingly.
Repeat this activity many times. The more lopsided the circle, the greater the variety of numbers used.

Number can be understood in three different ways - as defining a thing's position in a series (its ordinal nature) as a quantity (its cardinal nature) and as a symbol (number recognition). This exercise combines all these elements forming a good basis for understanding number. By pacing out and counting, children will appreciate the order of number. In order to program Roamer correctly the child has to understand the symbols for number: the distance represents the cardinal nature of number.

Get the children to stand in a line and make a tunnel with their legs. The first child has to program Roamer to go all the way through the tunnel. This can be repeated with the children standing closer together and further apart to vary the length of the tunnel. See if they remember to pace it out first for estimating.

Children love this estimating activity and it provides a great opportunity to develop mathematical ideas such as before, after, longer than, shorter than, etc.

This activity can be done either in small groups or as a whole class activity with the children divided into teams.
Mark a box on the floor within which Roamer will be placed. Choose a number (pick a Roamer playing card or throw a dice) and ask the children where they think Roamer will stop if you program it to go forward this number of units. If the children are playing individually they can stand where they think it will stop, if they are playing in teams one person from each team should stand where the team thinks it should stop.

Once again the main feature of this activity is estimation and understanding number. It will also provide ample opportunity for language development, particularly if the children are working cooperatively in groups.

You can now introduce programming Roamer to go backwards. Once again, show Roamer going back 1 so the children can visualise the unit; then repeat the above game going backwards instead of forwards.

Introducing backwards movement is obviously important in terms of space and shape but it can also provide a foundation for understanding subtraction later on.

Create a number line (the Roamer floor mats are wonderful for this purpose or it can be chalked on the floor). Using only the numbers up to five from the Roamer playing cards or alternative, pick a card and program Roamer to go up the number line. Leave Roamer where it is and pick another card. Ask children where they think Roamer will stop when you put in the new number.
NOTE: Remember to clear Roamer's memory (CM CM) before reprogramming with the second number.

This activity clearly introduces the idea of addition and the language involved.

Once again start by selecting a card and programming Roamer to go up the number line. Select a second card, and this time ask the children where Roamer will stop if it goes backwards by this number.

This introduces subtraction and will help develop the associated language.

Using the Roamer playing cards or similar select the forwards and backwards cards, shuffle and place face downwards in a pile. Select all the number cards, shuffle and place face downwards in a second pile.
One child should take a card from each pile. They must put the cards down in an order that Roamer will understand. Before programming Roamer they should say where they think Roamer will stop. Then they can program Roamer and see how accurate their estimation was.
Then the next child repeats this activity starting with Roamer where the last child left it.

This is a wonderful reinforcement exercise on number operations. It provides plenty of opportunity for language development.

  © 2004. Amethyst Consultancy Ltd.