• Getting the Right Calculator

    Posted by Mark Fitzpatrick on 6/24/2010 1:00:00 PM
     

    TI-83

    TI-84

    TI-Nspire

    TI-83

    TI-84

    TI-Nspire

     
    A graphing calculator is not required for precalculus or algebra 2, but it is extremely helpful in both learning the material and doing the work. See examples below. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a student have a graphing calculator. The TI-84 graphing calculator would be a good calculator for both precal and later for calculus. It is also the required calculator for both regular and AP stats. If you are on a budget, the TI-83 (maybe from Ebay or bought from a friend) would work well. The TI-Nspire is the latest version of the graphing calculator but has become very complicated and confusing for students. I would not recommend the Nspire. Any graphing calculator would be good to have, but teachers can't know the in and outs of every calculator on the market. I know the TI-84 pretty well and can help students with that calculator. VMHS math teachers who use graphing calculators in the classroom use the TI-84.
    I would definitely recommend NOT getting the TI-99. They are much more difficult to figure out and use. Some students have Casio's and I am becoming more familiar with those as I try to help students. But as I said, I have the TI-84 and am most familiar with that.
    Do you have a calculator that you would recommend? Have you used one that you would tell others NOT to get? Help out your fellow students and parents and comment on your calculator experience. If you see certain calculators on sale, you might throw that out there too.
    Differences in graphing calculator versus scientific calculator.
    Without a graphing calculator With a graphing calculator
    Solving a 3-variable system of equations: Half to three quarters of a page of work, 10 minutes No paper work necessary, 60 seconds
    Noting the change of "b" on a sine graph Painstakingly plugging values into the equation and plotting points. Having to redo for each change of "b." Changing "b" value on calculator and instantly seeing effect on graph. Can plot several graphs with different "b" values on same plane.
    Statistics on a list of numbers. May be able to enter a list and run some stats on the list. May or may not be able to view list. Can't edit the list. Can have multiple lists of numbers. Can edit lists and run a full range of stats on the lists. Can graph frequency charts, bar charts, box and whisker plots.
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Last Modified on July 21, 2016