Date: May 5, 1995 5:47 PM
Author: June Mark
Subject: good uses of calculators

Dear colleagues,

We (Al Cuoco, Paul Goldenberg, and June Mark) edit the ``Technology
Tips'' column for the NCTM journal ``Mathematics Teacher.'' You may have
noticed it in recent issues. We try to highlight good uses of technology, ways
to integrate technology with your curriculum, and pointers to technological
resources of use to high school mathematics teachers. Recently, we've had
articles on the use of dynamic geometry software, spreadsheets, the Internet,
and function machines.

We'd like to devote a column or two to calculators, giving short examples of
calculator uses that people have found effective either for learning or
applying mathematics. We also want to give a few examples of situations where
calculators don't help or even get in the way of understanding. By
``calculator'' we mean all varieties, including graphing calculators.

Although it is read by a much wider audience, the ``Mathematics
Teacher'' is aimed at the 9-12 curriculum, and we'd like submissions
that relate to that level mathematics. Submissions should be at most
two paragraphs. We can't guarantee inclusion, and we may have to
combine and edit, but we'll credit the people whose ideas we pubish.

So, what's your favorite activity with a calculator? When is it best to
turn them off? More important than the description of the activity is
the description of the calculator use that you applaud or boo. And, in addition
to how the calculator is used, we'd like to know about the underlying
rationale (for example what's the mathematical thinking that it encourages?).

Send submissions by June 9 to and cc one of us (alcuoco,
paulg, or junem, all