Q&A #846

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Use of calculators

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From: Owen

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007120415:18:44
Subject: k4 and calculators

I looked at a lot of sites on this topic and found there a people on
both sides of this debate.  Some say students must have calcualtors
for grade 1 to 4 and others saw it will destroy the childs abiliy to
do math.  I think any tool can be misused.  Any system can be taught
wrong.  If the calculator it taught correctly then it can be very
helpful.  If it is used as a crutch then it will be harmful.  Some
people do not have any idea how the calculator works on the inside. 
It is just a mysterious black box that you input data and get out
answers.  The problem with this is garbage in equals garbage out.  One
teacher said he has a broken calculator and has the students try to
use it to see if they can tell if it has the wrong answer.  He also
plays a game where one of the keys does not work and the student must
use the smaller keys to replace the broken key when they do

   I made a paper calculator so the student has the "map" or location
of the numbers and then they do the calculations in their head.  You
can get a free copy of the DotMath calculator from the 

DotMath for kids  web site.  

Just type    "DotMath for kids"   into the google box and it will help
you find the site.  There are a lot of other graphics on the site you
may also find interesting.

good luck in your teaching.

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