Calculator Use Tips: Four Reasons for Students to Use Calculators
For young math students, there is currently a calculator use debate in regards to how often they should be allowed to use a calculator. On one side of the argument, people say that hand held calculators should not be used at all until a certain age; at an arbitrary level, now students have “earned the right” or are “old enough” to use calculators for their math homework. Looking at the other extreme, some home school or classroom teachers let their students use calculators for everything. What is proper calculator use when teaching or learning math?
There isn’t much debate about what can happen when kids rely on calculator use too much, too early. They become dependent on it and they get mathematically lazy. If allowed to grab the calculator for a simple operation such as 13 X 3, students can get sloppy and after making a mistake, assume the answer on the screen is the correct one.
There are reasons, however, why math students should use calculators. This can be enabled by classroom teachers or home school teachers correctly to enhance four aspects to the developmental learning of math.
Calculator Use Tip #1: Calculators can help in demonstrating concepts
Being able to key in complicated numbers and operations is sometimes an advantage to learning number patterns or rules. The calculator can be used to prove that larger answers result when multiplying by increasing numbers; smaller answers result when multiplying by amounts between zero and one. Teachers can show patterns to repeating decimals and their relationships to fractions. When exploring linear equation function graphs, students can input different slope values or coefficients to see how the graphs change. The speed of the tool greatly enhances the discovery of patterns or numeric rules. This will be an advantage in the study of Algebra, for example.
Calculator Use Tip #2: Calculators can help to apply real world applications
When students need to measure dimensions and apply concepts of area and volume, for example, they can use a calculator. In the real world, things are not measured in whole numbers; dimensions are in reality messy to work with and inexact. In learning a concept, students should first work with simple numbers. Then they move on to decimals and fractions as they encounter examples of real measurements. Studying area, kids will have to work with rational amounts, and solving problems will force them to make calculations quickly and as accurately as possible. The calculator can help with this and as part of the learning, students will discover the value of decimal places and significant digits.
Calculator Use Tip #3: Calculators can help in estimation
When doing a measurement problem where the distances are inexact, the calculator can help with the answer, but how does the student know it is correct? This is an opportunity for estimation skills. If the rectangular board measures 12.67 inches by 3.14 inches and you need to find its area, how do you know that your answer cannot be the number showing on your calculator: 72.345? Estimate by rounding the dimensions to 13 by 3 inches and realize that your answer should be slightly more than 39 square inches. Using calculators is a prime opportunity to reinforce the skill of estimating your answer first, then doing the calculation.
Calculator Use Tip #4: Calculators will be used in the work of work
Isolated in the classroom or at home, math students often wonder how their current unit of study applies to the real world. By being allowed to use the calculator properly in their math class, they will gain an appreciation for the great tool it is. Calculators speed up the problem solving process but cannot think for themselves. They are only as accurate as the person whose fingers pressed the keys and used the proper operations.
If correctly developed, the use of calculators in school will teach children the real world skill of using the right tool for the job. When working for a boss or for themselves in their own business, students in the future will need to properly analyze a situation, figure out a strategy for solving a problem, use the proper tools, develop a way to check the answer, and clearly communicate the results. Hand held calculators or computer applications or programs will be an integral part of this process. The classroom experiences with a calculator will help students to become comfortable and competent with this powerful learning tool.
Like any tool, calculators are only machines that might be misused. But if students are taught how to use them in ways that improve their future success, these technology tools will not be a crutch. Test to see if the math student can get the general idea of the concept by estimating the answer or verbalize the problem solving sequence. After that, they can use the calculator to do the number crunching or experiment with different outcomes. A good teacher can then expect his students to be able to justify their results. Calculator use is an integral part of this learning and thinking process.
Build Student Self Confidence With an Online Private Math Tutor
How to Find the Inverse of a Function
Does Your Child Need Help with Math?
5 Ways to Become a Better Math Student
6 Characteristics to Look For in a Math Tutor
30 Trusty Tips: Learn Math Skills to Improve Grades in School
5 Ways to Boost Confidence in Math
4 Ways to Succeed With Story Problems
7 Steps NOW For Your Child To Get Good Math Grades Next School Year
Five Steps To Lift Your Child's Math Grades to A's
Math Anxiety Tips
Online Help with Geometry
Five Steps On How To Improve Your Child's Math Grades To A's
Eliminate Learning Loss with Fun Summer Math Activities
Tips for Parents: Helping Kids with Math Homework
Teaching Students Trigonometric Radians: Degrees to Radians and Back
Help with Math Equations: Using Letters in Math?
Tips, Tricks and Strategies: Help Solving Word Problems
Three Easy Ways to Help With Elementary Math
6 Word Problem Solving Strategies to Help Reduce Math Anxiety
Five Steps to Improve Mathematics Problem Solving Skills
Calvary Tutoring Services: Learn with an Online Mathematics Tutor
How to Easily and Simply Use Rules in Mathematics
Understanding the Ti 84 Solve Function
Six Strategies to Tackle Challenging Math Word Problems
Solve Compound Interest Problems using the Ti 84 Calculator
Algebra 1 Homework Help for Your Child
Learning about Fractions: Why Johnny (Jenny) Can't Do Fractions
Five Guaranteed Ways to Get an A in Math
Six Tips for Using a Graphing Calculator
Solving Real World Math Problems Using Rate, Time, and Distance
Never Too Young: How to Teach Algebra to Kids
Three Steps to Improve Math Grades
Math is Beautiful
Shattering Five Math Fear Myths
Learning Fractions is a Piece of Cake!
Math Tutor Help: Understanding YX OIC 2EZ
The Basics of Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning
How to Achieve Successful Homework Completion by Overcoming Math Fear
Math Fear: Overcoming Test Anxiety
Five Magical Strategies for Increasing Math Confidence
Teaching Number Sense to Your Children is Easy with Number Counting
Counting Change: A Fun and Useful Way to Improve Math Skills!
PEMDAS Problems: Easily Simplify Equations Using PEMDAS
Math from the Positive Side: Live Online Tutoring
Overcoming Anti-Math Bias
Correct Math Operations: Putting the Cart before the Horse
7 Advantages of Choosing Online Math Tutoring for Your Student
Math for Slow Learners
How to Multiply Faster Than a Calculator
Four Steps to Follow When Solving Math Word Problems
Online Tutoring in Mathematics: Get Your Child Excited About Math
6 Word Problem Strategies to Help Reduce Math Anxiety
The Five Fundamentals for Teaching Math
Simple Strategies That Can Help Your Child Become a Math Superstar
You Can Have the Michael Jordan of Online Math Tutors
The ABC’s of Learning X, Y and Z in Algebra
Effective Math Problem Solving Strategies
4 Fun Ways to Learn Multiplications Facts
Why Math is Important for Every Child to Learn
How to Improve Math Skills for Kids
8 Ways to Be Better at Math
How to Solve Math Word Problems: Tips for Reducing Word Problem Stress
New School Year Math Preparation
Conquering the Enemy: 7 Ways to Wipe Out Careless Math Errors on Tests
How to Excel in Math
Students Click Here
Free Report How To Start An Online Tutoring Business
Blueprint For Online Tutoring Success eBook
How To Start An Online Tutoring Business MP3 interview
Free Online Tutor Forum
Tutor and Grow Rich ebook
Free A+ Parenting Video Series & Handouts
Online Tutoring Service
Free Online Tutoring Demonstration
A+ Parenting DVD Collection
Discipline & Parenting Techniques
Health, Nutrition and Fitness
Learning Styles and Techniques
Managing an Online Tutoring Business
Motivating Your Child or Student
Online Tutoring Business Opportunities
Online Tutoring Defined
Test Preparation & Study Skills
Work From Home