Graphing Calculators – $4,232

Curricular Area: STEM
Grant Focus: Equipment
Schools: Columbia High School
Items Purchased: 30 TI-84 CE Graphing Calculators plus Chargers

This grant outfits high school math classes with TI-84 CE graphing calculators with a primary goal of building confidence and promoting engagement among students. Graphing calculators would not take the place of pencil-and-paper calculations and.or graphing. Instead, the use of graphing calculators as a resource would enable students to more easily check their work and focus on problem-solving and applied problems. In general, students are more engaged when solving real-world problems and enjoy knowing how the math they are learning in the classroom can be used in the real-world. Access to graphing calculators would enable us to solve more applicable problems. For example, some investigations look at linear equations through the lens of flight, while others look at profitability of a business by setting up a system of equations.

The use of graphing calculators would also allow for better differentiation. Currently, nearly all analysis and interpretation of results requires some previous calculations or graphing by the student. Students that struggle to do the prerequisite calculations would still be able to analyze the graph if they were able to use their graphing calculator to help them graph or solve the necessary equation.

Additionally, TI-84 CE graphing calculators are one of the approved calculators on the ACT and SAT tests. Since the device is allowed on the test, students would be at a disadvantage to not use a graphing calculator as a resource. However, students will not be comfortable or able to use the technology to its fullest capability unless they are shown how to use them.