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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Math and the Computer Scientific Calculator

One of my older students is taking geometry, which has a lot of algebra and our wonderful Pythagorean Theorem. I went over the basics of the calculator on her laptop during the summer so she would be familiar with it when the time came to use it in class.

During our sessions, I always try to begin homework with the students so they know how to tackle it when they get home. She has a great spatial understanding of how to layout math problems, taking it from Nemeth and putting it in print, so it is just doing all the long calculations to get the correct answer that is required. The one attached to the computer is fully accessible to the talking software and is free, versus buying a scientific calculator for almost $300 somewhere else.

She would read from her Geometry Nemeth book, calculate the answer in her head as she typed it out on the computer, and then she would recheck her answer on the calculator. She grew in her confidence of finishing answers more quickly because now she had a way to double check her work to make sure she truly had the correct answer.

I will add the list of all the hotkeys to the calculator on my site under the title: Files to download and use. I will name the file Calculator shortcut keys

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