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Topic: 4 function calculators
Replies: 9   Last Post: Feb 9, 2013 5:46 PM

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Seese, Lillian

Posts: 38
Registered: 12/6/04
RE: 4 function calculators
Posted: Feb 8, 2013 11:45 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply
att1.html (7.8 K)

We were very happy to hear that we could use
fact sheets, because, as you point out, filling them in is a great
opportunity to find patterns that can then be generalized. Oh well.

From: Edward D Laughbaum []
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 10:44 AM
To: Spencer-Barnes, Amanda G (Hazard); Seese, Lillian M.;
Subject: RE: 4 function calculators

Lillian & Amanda,

The educational value of any calculator is decreased when it is thought
of and used as a tool to do mathematics. I think this is what you are
both suggesting - it is a tool used to do arithmetic. The issue is that
this thinking decreases any possibility of using a 4-function calculator
as a tool to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
of whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Basic arithmetic operations
are loaded with patterns that can be capitalized upon to teach
arithmetic. Even at the lowest level of mental processing, the brain is
still a great pattern generalizer. The neural process of generalizing
both creates a memory of the generalization and produces an
understanding of the generalized content. The challenging part of this
for teachers is being able to create/develop a pattern that students can
generalize from.


At 10:37 AM 2/8/2013, Spencer-Barnes, Amanda G (Hazard) wrote:


Have you tried Dollar General, Family Dollar, or Dollar Tree stores?
Sometimes they will have small, cheap models of calculators that are
only four-function. I agree with you 100% as I believe it is important
for students to learn these basic operations without a calculator. I
have fought the same battle as you, because accommodations are not
supposed to compromise the integrity of the course. However, we both
know when part of the competencies for the course state that we must
teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole
numbers, allowing the use of even a four-function calculator compromises
the integrity of the course.

Good luck on your search!


Amanda Spencer-Barnes
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Advisor - Phi Theta Kappa
Technology Coordinator - KYMATYC
Hazard Community and Technical College
601 Jefferson Avenue
Jackson, KY 41339
(606)666-7521 ext. 73530

Higher Education Begins Here

Change won't happen until the pain of staying the same is greater than
the pain of changing. -Emory Austin

Big men become big by doing what they didn't want to do when they didn't
want to do it.
-- Source Unknown

From: [
<> ] On Behalf Of Seese, Lillian M.
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 10:13 AM
Subject: 4 function calculators

This is a follow up to my request for where to by 4-function calculators
(without square root or % buttons), which I am sending because of all
the questions I received from you.

First, "why would anyone want a 4-function calculator?"
Our special needs students have always been given the
accommodation of a4-function calculator if they need it for number
facts. Recently, they have been hard to find, and so our office which
evaluates students' needs for accommodations says, "calculator or fact
sheet." We thought that meant that we could eliminate calculators
altogether for basic math tests on whole numbers, but we were told that
we could only eliminate the use of the last 2 keys - say, glue them
down? But if we didn't want to do that, we could withhold the
calculator for problems involving percents and square roots, and make
fact sheets available.
All of this seems pretty weird, so we went on a search
for 4-function calculators - hence my e-mail to you.

Lillian Seese
Professor of Mathematics
St Louis Community College at Meramec
11333 Big Bend Blvd.
Kirkwood MO 63122

It turns out that the only place we've found them is on those sites
where you can customize coffee mugs, pencils, etc. for example,
"" sells a solar 4-function calculator for $2.57

I sometimes think we are the only department left that
feels that learning whole number operations, with borrowing, lining up
place values, combining like terms, etc. is important... thanks to all
of you who responded to me!

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