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.