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Topic: Re: Private Reply
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 6, 1995 12:23 AM

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Eileen Abrahamson

Posts: 85
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Private Reply
Posted: Aug 5, 1995 6:43 PM
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Chi-Tien 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 K-4 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 K-4 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 K-4 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 K-4 teachers would be the 'last group on
earth' to do this.


Eileen Abrahamson
Edw. Neill Elemetary
13409 Upton Ave. So.
Burnsville, MN 55337

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