My students need 10 graphing calculators to do a new and innovative project where we investigate slopes using the CBR (calculator based ranger). They need to see the lines!!
Many of my students struggle with graphing lines. Their struggles range from scaling to basic drawing of a straight line. We are also required to draw parabolas which are even harder to do. They do all this without any prior visuals which the graphing calculator would definitely give to them.
My students primarily come from African American and Latino backgrounds.
They range in the age from 12 - 15, with an occasional sixteen year old who is more often than not struggling with academic as well as emotional issues. A lot of them come from single parent households where education is emphasized because their parents want better for them than themselves. My students work very hard and every year enter high school better prepared. Our state test scores have also gotten higher each year. Throughout the year I teach in such a way that students don't know a test is coming up, not till about a month or so before the actual test. I capture students' imagination and capitalize on their love (and sometimes hate) for math. Our school is a small school where we place emphasis on technology and using technology to enhance learning. My class sizes usually range from 18 - 22 students per class.
For the first time last year I did an innovative project where students connected CBRs (calculator based rangers) to Texas Instruments graphing calculators. They were then encouraged to get out of the classroom to create lines. It was a treat to see students' faces light up when they saw that they had created lines with slopes of -3/4, or 1/5... They also had to struggle to figure out their speed and their direction. In the 8th grade I only have a class set of simple scientific calculators. I feel it is such a disservice to my students that in 2012, they have no idea what a graphing calculator looks like, far less the knowledge of how to manipulate it. Having these materials in my classroom will not only allow me to upgrade this innovative project; but I can use them throughout the school year as we graph lines and parabolas.
By the age of 13/14, especially in the technological world we live in, it is unfair to my students that they are still using simple scientific calculators.
Exposure to graphing calculators can open them up to a whole new mathematical world. More rigorous lessons can be created as students will now have a great computational tool. Students can now see lines, parabolas, and their intersections before they have to manually draw these. This would truly enhance my brilliant 8th graders.Read More
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|Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator • Best Buy||$117.99||10||$1,179.90|
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