We have used Texas Instruments Calculators in our family for years. I had one that my husband and I used in college for years, until the kids played grocery store with it when they were little and lost it. I know the calculators are durable, well made and built to last, especially if they can handle little kids dropping them constantly.
While at Blogher12, I had the privilege of attending a breakfast for the Texas Instruments TI-nspire CX hosted by Tom Reardon, a nationally awarded high school math teacher, who shared with us the wonders of this handy little machine in math and science classrooms. I am the first to admit that I hate math in any form and am no help to my children when it comes to equations or formulas, but even I was excited by the TI-nspire, the thinnest and lightest graphing calculator to date. No more bulky calculators that take up an entire backpack. The rechargeable battery allows it to be used for up to two weeks before it needs to be recharged.
The TI-inspire CX, when available to all students in a classroom, can be attached to a wireless navigator system. This allows teachers to monitor the progress of each child in the classroom and see if the children understand the concepts. Results of the equations can be shown anonymously with only the teacher able to see which students are struggling. This is a breakthrough for teachers who want to help their students understand the concepts immediately while the lesson is in progress. There’s no embarrassment for shy students or students with learning disabilities. As a mom of a child with dysgraphia and as a teacher, I loved these innovations. Equations can be color coded to make them easier to remember, a plus for students with learning disabilities, and real world pictures can be added to the equations for extra memory boosts.
This calculator does contain graphing software and can be used on the SAT, ACT, and on AP exams, but it’s applications for other subjects truly amazed me. It contains a touch pad, which works like a mouse, for entering information. When I was shown how to use the touch pad to type and save notes into a document for other subjects, including my favorites, English and history, I couldn’t wait to give this to my son. His teachers had recommended he bring a notebook to school this year to ensure success when taking notes. Now he can use a calculator instead and transfer his documents to a PC or a Mac. How amazing is that?
I’ve enclosed a video showing how it works and its many uses in the classroom. A parents overview is also available.
This calculator is fun to use! Even I, the math hater, have been experimenting. Although I don’t plan on doing this often, I can use it for Chemical Notation, 3-D graphing, and Conic, Equation and Inequality Graphing. My daughter, who handed me her college schedule, plans on using her TI-nspire for several of her classes. She’s already familiar with the calculator, having used it in Trig, Calculus, Physics, and several other high school classes.
TI-nspire products are available at Walmart or Office Depot. Also, check with your local school system. The school may allow students to borrow one of these calculators for a semester, as my daughter did when in high school.