Better Understanding of Mathematical Concepts through the Graphing Calculator

Course Introduction

Teachers need to make sure their students to truly understand mathematics and not simply view it as a set of rules that do not make sense (Darling-Hammond, 2008). Research shows that using the graphing calculator as a learning tool can help students better understand mathematics (Edwards, 1994; Smith, 1998; Grouws & Kristin, 2000; Ye, 2009). Thus, this course should be used as a professional development program for teachers who may not know how to use the graphing calculator as a teaching tool to help students better understand mathematical concepts.

Course Purpose: At the end of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate utilizing the graphing calculator to increase student understanding of mathematics.

Required Materials:

1) a TI-Nspire graphing calculator (numeric or CAS versions acceptable) with the latest operating system.

2) a computer with TI CAS Teacher Edition Software and Internet access.

Prerequisites:

1) have a basic understanding of how to use TI-nSpire and TI CAS Teacher Edition Software

2) know the Algebra curriculum.

3) have an understanding of how to create a lesson.

4) be willinging to learn

5) be open minded in terms of your ideas of mathematics instruction


Unit 1: Understanding the Benefits of the Nspire in Mathematics Instruction

Objective: By the end of Unit 1, you should be able to explain and understand why utilizing the graphing calculator for mathematics instruction is beneficial for student understanding.

Unit 2: Operating the TI-Nspire and TI CAS Teacher Edition Software

Objective: By the end of Unit 2, you should be able to operate the TI-Nspire and TI-CAS Teacher Edition Software.

Unit 3: Locating Existing Concept Activities for the Nspire

Objective: By the end of Unit 3, you should be able to locate and alter existing graphing calculator concept activities to use in lessons.

Unit 4: Creating Concept Activities for the Nspire

Objective: By the end of Unit 4, you should be able to create graphing calculator concept activities to use in lessons.


Resources

Darling-Hammond, L. (2008). Powerful Learning: What we know about teaching for understanding. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Grouws, D.A. & Cebulla. K.J. (2000) Improving student achievement in mathematics, part 2: Recommendations for the classroom. Columbus OH:ERIC Clearinghouse for Science Mathematics and Environmental Education http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-1/math3.htm

Edwards, T.G. (1994). Current reform efforts in mathematics education. Columbus OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science Mathematics and Environmental Education. http://www.ericdigests.org/1995-1/current.htm

Smith, J.P. (1998). Graphing calculators in the mathematics classroom. Columbus OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science Mathematics and Environmental Education. http://www.ericdigests.org/2000-2/graphing.htm

Ye, L. (2009) Integration of graphing calculator in mathematics teaching in China. Journal of Mathematics. 2(2), 134 - 146.