Q&A #2532

Graphing Calculator use in Algebra 1

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Nov 11, 1999 at 23:42:37
Subject: Re: Graphing Calculator use in Algebra 1

I am sorry about the reformed mathematics movement. I feel that some folks
who tend to go to extremes are either ends of the spectrum mess up imparting
knowledge to children.

Anyway, calculators are WONDERFUL tools if they are used to enhance the
topic rather than replace knowledge. For example, I use them in an algebra I
after we have collected data and have had students graph the data by hand
and after they have approximated a line. Then I show them how to use their
calculators to do this.  I use calculators when discussing factoring. Seeing
what "shape" the factored forms take, helps them to understand why we
factor. I don't care if they understand the graphs or not. I can use the
Boolean Algebra of the graphing calculator to let the students check their
simple equations. I use them to graph what I call "Identities and Crises"
since I can't seem to get the students to pay close attention to careless
mistakes without the calculator. For example, (2x+6)/2 is not x+6. OR (x+2)
^2 is not x^2+4  Once the students graph each part of these, they begin to
realize that I wasn't just making this up! Good luck!

 -Claudia, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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