Reefgazer Posted November 27, 2015 Share Posted November 27, 2015 (edited) At what stage of math did you allow calculator use for math? DD is partway through Saxon Algebra I and doing very well; she knows her math facts and is proficient with arithmetic calculations. I would like to allow a calculator as a time saving device, but wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not at this stage. What do you all recommend? Edited November 27, 2015 by reefgazer 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

regentrude Posted November 27, 2015 Share Posted November 27, 2015 (edited) In math, we do not use a calculator through calculus, with the exception of occasional numerical computations, for example in Precalculus/trigonometry, a few times a year. I am using a curriculum that is designed to teach mathematics, and there are only a handful of problems per year that allow and require a calculator. My kids are allowed to use a calculator for problems in their high school science courses. As a college instructor, I see the problems with calculator dependent students on a weekly basis; they never developed a number sense and are unable to see simple relationships because they are not intimately familiar with numbers. Their basic arithmetic skills have withered since they have been using calculators too much and too early. It has become such a crutch that it is disturbing to see them use calculators for simple arithmetic on elementary level. I would urge you to defer calculator use until it is actually necessary, not just time saving. Edited November 27, 2015 by regentrude 6 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SparklyUnicorn Posted November 27, 2015 Share Posted November 27, 2015 I started allowing DS to use a calculator about midway through Saxon Algebra 2. A lot of the problems don't really require a calculator though. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Arcadia Posted November 27, 2015 Share Posted November 27, 2015 (edited) I let my boys use it for trigonometry since no one looks up trigonometry tables anymore. They use the scientific calculators to check their answers sometimes so they are proficient in using the calculator if they need it. My DS10 didn't touch his calculator for ACT. He said it was easier without and he had an almost perfect score with time to spare. Pressing buttons take longer than working it out for him. My boys have a TI-84 plus graphing calculator each and knows how to use it. They don't use it for math work though but as a programming toy. DS10 use the scientific calculator for hewitt's conceptual physics but most of the time he calculates by hand. His number sense is solid but he needs to be careful with his units. My "slowpoke" younger doesn't need the calculator either. Not much time saving using a calculator in his case. ETA: How much time savings are you looking at? E.g. 1hr with calculator vs 2hr without? I didn't use Saxon so not familiar with the homework. DS10's public school textbook for algebra 1 two years ago has a calculator section. So 2/3 would be calculator free and 1/3 would be to practise using the calculator. Edited November 27, 2015 by Arcadia 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Reefgazer Posted November 28, 2015 Author Share Posted November 28, 2015 The withering of skills is one thing I am afraid of and what prompted my question to begin with; I wasn't sure if this was a realistic fear or not. I guess the calculator will need to wait a bit. quote name="regentrude" post="6698712" timestamp="1448638156"] In math, we do not use a calculator through calculus, with the exception of occasional numerical computations, for example in Precalculus/trigonometry, a few times a year. I am using a curriculum that is designed to teach mathematics, and there are only a handful of problems per year that allow and require a calculator. My kids are allowed to use a calculator for problems in their high school science courses. As a college instructor, I see the problems with calculator dependent students on a weekly basis; they never developed a number sense and are unable to see simple relationships because they are not intimately familiar with numbers. Their basic arithmetic skills have withered since they have been using calculators too much and too early. It has become such a crutch that it is disturbing to see them use calculators for simple arithmetic on elementary level. I would urge you to defer calculator use until it is actually necessary, not just time saving. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Reefgazer Posted November 28, 2015 Author Share Posted November 28, 2015 I'm not sure how much time it would save, but I think the time saved would be noticeable. But I need to balance that out with the downside, and it seems the downsides would outweigh the time saving benefit. I let my boys use it for trigonometry since no one looks up trigonometry tables anymore. They use the scientific calculators to check their answers sometimes so they are proficient in using the calculator if they need it. My DS10 didn't touch his calculator for ACT. He said it was easier without and he had an almost perfect score with time to spare. Pressing buttons take longer than working it out for him. My boys have a TI-84 plus graphing calculator each and knows how to use it. They don't use it for math work though but as a programming toy. DS10 use the scientific calculator for hewitt's conceptual physics but most of the time he calculates by hand. His number sense is solid but he needs to be careful with his units. My "slowpoke" younger doesn't need the calculator either. Not much time saving using a calculator in his case. ETA: How much time savings are you looking at? E.g. 1hr with calculator vs 2hr without? I didn't use Saxon so not familiar with the homework. DS10's public school textbook for algebra 1 two years ago has a calculator section. So 2/3 would be calculator free and 1/3 would be to practise using the calculator. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

HomeAgain Posted November 28, 2015 Share Posted November 28, 2015 Algebra 2 here, and only because the teacher required it. It was easier than graphing a little bit, but he still uses mental math or pencil/paper for 90% of his work since it saves time. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SparklyUnicorn Posted November 28, 2015 Share Posted November 28, 2015 The withering of skills is one thing I am afraid of and what prompted my question to begin with; I wasn't sure if this was a realistic fear or not. I guess the calculator will need to wait a bit. quote name="regentrude" post="6698712" timestamp="1448638156"] In math, we do not use a calculator through calculus, with the exception of occasional numerical computations, for example in Precalculus/trigonometry, a few times a year. I am using a curriculum that is designed to teach mathematics, and there are only a handful of problems per year that allow and require a calculator. My kids are allowed to use a calculator for problems in their high school science courses. As a college instructor, I see the problems with calculator dependent students on a weekly basis; they never developed a number sense and are unable to see simple relationships because they are not intimately familiar with numbers. Their basic arithmetic skills have withered since they have been using calculators too much and too early. It has become such a crutch that it is disturbing to see them use calculators for simple arithmetic on elementary level. I would urge you to defer calculator use until it is actually necessary, not just time saving. I know this will sound goofy, but I think calculators kind of take the fun out of it. I'm taking a stats course right now and we sometimes HAVE to use a calculator. I find myself just memorizing the steps of input and not really knowing what it is I'm doing. I do try to think about what I'm doing, but more and more I feel a disconnect there. Although that is what frustrates me about a lot of math instructors in general. They often do not explain what the point is. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

rebcoola Posted November 28, 2015 Share Posted November 28, 2015 Our chinese exchange student from a couple of years ago was super frustrated when the AP calculus teacher required a calculator she was much faster without one. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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