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Re: Private Reply
Posted:
Aug 5, 1995 6:43 PM


ChiTien Hsu wrote: >They use for different purposes not directly relate to their "math >work". Mostly, they see that as a "toy" that they can explore by >their own freely. Sometimes, they push around to prove that >"calculator is right" because they believe in the math in their >"brain" perfectly.
Since I appear to be the only actual K4 teacher who is currently reading and responding to the list I would like to respond to this comment. This is somewhat how the calculators 'are' used in our K4 classrooms.
The students play games such as "Beat The Calculator" inwhich they race to perform mental calculations more quickly than the calculator.
As a fourth grade teacher I also permitted students to figure out the "decimal name" for various fractions. An interesting side effect to this was that students performed this operation so frequently that by the end of the year they could tell you pretty accurately the "fraction name" for a decimal. (This type of inverse learning is typical when students use the calculator.) This is a portion of "number sense", the ability to look at a fraction and give it an approximate "decimal name" or look at a decimal and give it an approximate "fraction name", is hard to find in the general population,, but was common for the fourth grader who had been working with the calculators.
Again, since I am actually in the K4 environment and not just an outside observer, I have at least 10 years worth of real classroom experience and evidence that calculators 'are' infact beneficial in learning math. I will however qualify that by saying, at least in our school district, students are not using them as a crutch. It would be irresponsible of me, or any other teacher for that matter to deprive students of opportunities to think, and trust me when I say K4 teachers would be the 'last group on earth' to do this.
Eileen
Eileen Abrahamson 0191enel@informns.k12.mn.us Edw. Neill Elemetary 13409 Upton Ave. So. Burnsville, MN 55337



