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Topic: CR: Calculators and Mental Math
Replies: 6   Last Post: Apr 22, 1996 12:36 PM

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Posts: 90
Registered: 12/6/04
CR: Calculators and Mental Math
Posted: Apr 21, 1996 1:02 PM
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I need guidance on the dual requirements in high school of: 1) using
calculators to solve realistic problems but 2) the need of students to
reinforce (practice, learn) mental and pencil arithmetic.

I believe that students need to understand how to multiply by 10,100 & 5.
They need to completely understand that 3/3 = 1, 1 * x = x, 1 + 0 = 1, 5 -5 =
0, 50 * 89 = 89 * 50 ect. I don't believe that students can grasp an
understanding of algebra without this type of arithmetic knowledge - not the
type of understanding where they memorize a rule long enough to pass a test -
the type of understanding where it is an integral part of their permanent
thought processes. My concern is trying to teach Algebra to students who have
used calculators so much that they have never developed this comprehension.

How does a teacher develop this type of understanding when the student knows
that "THE ANSWER" is simply a couple of button pushes away? Yet text books
are written with the intent that students will be using calculators.

Excuse the rambling -

Marge Cotton

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