toolfest logo Kathy Stewart

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MathTools

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What Teacher
Where

Will Rogers High School
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Next year: Geometry

Who motivator
How With my students, I use TI calculators. Personally, I'm pretty good with TI calculators, Flash, Sketchpad, and Palm OS.
Why

I've written general lesson which consists of following directions and using different aspects of the calculators is first given. Students must then solve problems from the book and/or worksheets first by hand, then using the calculator check their work. They must then go back, locate and correct any errors made. Sometimes the mistakes are in the operation of the calculator and not in their answer. But they are expected to make their corrections and identify where they went wrong before going on.

The students are loaned calculators, taught some of the basic commands, and are then expected to use them correctly and proficiently after, of course, a short trial and error time frame. From the basic commands taught the students are then able to experiment to see what else the calculator will do for them. It's actually quite fun watching them figure things out and then they teach what they've just discovered to the other students.

We are just now at the point where we are beginning to use the computers on a more frequent basis. I am learning about different kinds of software available and bringing in sample programs for the students to play with. We also have a wonderful resource person who locates programs and forwards them on to me.

I would like to learn how to engage the students more in math activities so that they can see how much fun math is and that it's more than just numbers and symbols that were created to trip them up.

I would love to focus on programs that do not need an engineering degree in order to operate. Programs are needed for students who do not have access to computers except at school. Teacher friendly programs, in which you would be able to go into a program, and pull out what exactly what you are looking for instead of going through a bunch of fluff first.

My school is in desperate need of materials that will challenge the brighter students while not causing the math challenged student any more frustration than necessary. A little frustration is good and helps build character, but to much and these kids shut down. The materials also need to be easily accessible for the instructor so as to not drive them crazy trying to teach to three different levels of intelligence.

 

© 2003-2006 The Math Forum @ Drexel, part of NSF's NSDL
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DUE-0226284.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.