Number lines with PIPPIN

Number lines have been a favourite application with robots since back in the days of the turtle. We have supplied number line resources for PIP and PIXIE over the years. With PIPPIN there is no need for a special resource, just use it along a metre rule.

It works best if you add a pointer to show which number PIPPIN refers to. The one in the above picture is made from a bit of self-adhesive magnet material stuck onto a paper pointer.

The end of the rule is a good place to start. Then, for example, , ,, will move the pointer to 9 on the rule. Press again and it will point to 18. Sums can be acted out with PIPPIN, so, , , , , , , will take PIPPIN from the end of the rule to 14 (11 + 3), stopping at 11 on the way. Taking away is done using . So , , , , , takes PIPPIN from the end of the rule to 8 (11 - 3) stopping at 11 on the way. Multiplication is done using . So, , , , , , will take PIPPIN from the end of the rule to 27 (3 times 9) stopping at 9 and 18 on the way. I don't know how to do division!

Not everyone has a magnet to hand to make a pointer so I modified the blank cover to suit.

This worked very nicely so I have put a pdf of the design here.

With younger children, you might choose to change the size of PIPPIN's movement units to 10 centimetres and count in tens along the rule. There are instructions on changing units here.

If you want to do this kind of activity in a very small space, for example on a tray on a wheelchair, you might consider a number circle. I used the same magnetic pointer as for a number line attached to the top of PIPPIN.

Getting the numbers in the right places at the right angles was a bit of a fag, so I have put a pdf of the design here so that you don't have to.

Set PIPPIN's turn unit size to 10 degrees (see here for information). Start with PIPPIN lined up in the box and with the cross in the centre of the pen hole. Put the pointer onto PIPPIN aimed at the 0. You might like to define the clockwise numbers as positive and the anticlockwise numbers as negative. Plus and minus 18 is a good length for a number activity and the whole thing fits on an A4 sheet of paper!


Copyright © 2006 Swallow Systems