Forgive me if I seem paranoid about the issue. It seems logical to me if one is commenting on calculators in the fourth grade classroom, then one should observe what is going on, nation wide, in the elementary classroom. Viewing several schools in one district just doesn't give a true picture. If one hasn't seen a number of schools, bottom line, one doesn't know what is happening. I would never argue the issue unless I felt I was informed. I travel nation wide to many school districts, and, I believe I speak with a sense of what is going on in mathematics education in the US.
There are many fine schools which have calculators and are doing exciting things in problem solving and the development of children algorithms. There are many fine schools, as well, which can't afford calculators and wish they had them. The real problem, in my mind, is the resource equity problem. How do we provide all school districts with such powerful tools.
Oh, by the way, my physician daughter and accountant son always had calculators. I showed them everything I knew and encouraged the use. Wasn't it lucky that they turned out OK?
I am sorry if I keep harping on the subject of discussion based on information. --
Math History Lives!
Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education The Langley School in Sciences and Technology 1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA 22012 USA 703-356-1920(w) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (703) 790-9712 --or-- KarenDM@aol.com