Monday, June 9, 2008

Calculator Use by Mike Miller

Mike Miller submitted the following thoughts.

This is exactly the ambiguity everyone should have expected, and represents either an agenda to continue reform mathematics or political cowardice.

The authors rationalize this ambiguity by pointing to, …… “Beliefs” which are not founded in solid evidence, should have no place in state standards. If such solid evidence exists, then these “beliefs” are transformed into rational arguments and should be weighed for their relative significance. I think such evidence does exist, the preponderance of which indicates that the premature introduction of calculators in elementary grades is harmful to the students’ development of computational fluency.

Curricula specialists from around the state have, and will continue to use the state standards as buttresses of justification for their curricula promotional campaigns. Some will choose curricula that rely on calculator use; some will not. Better guidelines are in order, if for no other reason than to encourage the cross-state consistency that OSPI claims to want, when the circumstances suit them.


Anonymous said...

The calculator use should be extended to include graphing calculators, parents don't realize that Core Plus requires students use a TI-84 and it is used everyday in the classroom. As I say, the teacher is tethered to a video screen display instructing students in the calculator, not algebra. You could argue they are problem-solving, but its non-mathematical. Most ridiculous waste of time I have ever seen. Good riddance.

Instead of drawing standard graphs to show their work, students copy their answers from the calculator.

Try correcting it!!

Anonymous said...

Teachers are also not aware that the TI 84/85 has software issues when they start inputing data into the tables. Particularly, type errors and there are a whole list of related errors - teachers need a class in debugging calculators before they attempt to use them in classrooms all day. Also, batteries become an important issue. So there is a whole lot of myths regarding calculators that need to be looked at more closely.