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Utilizing the Graphing Calculator for Better Understanding of Mathematics

Calculator.jpg (TI-nSpire Graphing Calculator)

Needs Assessment & Learner Anaylsis

  • Intent: 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, I believe there is a need for 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.
  • The nature of what is to be learned: Teachers will learn how to effectively use the graphing calculator to help students better understand mathematical concepts in Algebra.
  • About the learners: The learners are 8th and 9th grade mathematics teachers who teach Algebra. They know the basic functions of the TI-nSpire graphing calculator. Some of the learners are not motivated to use the graphing calculator for instruction because they do not understand the benefits yet. Some of the learners are using the graphing calculator, but are not using it to further student understanding; they are using it solely as an answer box. These learners are eager to learn more about how to use the calculator to better their students’ understanding of mathematical concepts.

Task Anaylsis

  • Course Purpose: At the end of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate utilizing the graphing calculator to increase student understanding of mathematics.
  • Learning Outcomes:
    Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to . . 
            1)explain why utilizing the graphing calculator for mathematics instruction is beneficial for student understanding and choose to incorporate graphing calculator into mathematics lessons.
            2)incorporate an activity into a lesson plan that that effectively uses the graphing calculator to promote better student understanding by locating and altering existing a graphing calculator concept activity.             
            3)incorporate an activity into a lesson plan that effectively uses the graphing calculator to promote better student understanding by creating a new graphing calculator concept activity.


  • Prerequisites: Participants will need . .
   Enabling Objectives:
            1) to have a basic understanding of how to use TI-nSpire and TI CAS Teacher Edition Software
            2) to know the Algebra curriculum.
            3) to have an understanding of how to create a lesson.
   Supporting Objectives:
            1) to be willinging to learn
            2) to be open minded in terms of their ideas of mathematics instruction
  • 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.
            
  • Instructional Curriculum Map: Curriculum map 3.jpg

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.