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02:55 pm: Eeks! Egreek! Zed!

My daughter came home from school today and told me that her advance calculator from Middle School was not good enough, she needed a new one. She gave me the name of the calculator. I Googgled it.

@#!$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I was in high school, calculators were NOT ALLOWED. This one cost:

$125.00

How in the world can the schools expect parents to spend over a $100.00 on calculators for 9th grade MATH?
Why don’t they just teach our kids MATH? — then they won’t need a calculator.

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

Comments

[User Picture]
From:juliet_winters
Date:September 7th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
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I bet if you check, you will find they have some to loan out. You are not the only person to get upset at the price.

Our school loans them out...but you sign a paper saying you will be responsible for the replacement cost if necessary. We could live with that.

I, too, remember calculators being a no-no in school. My father, an engineer, gave me a nice one. Unfortunately, I relied on it and never learned how to work the slide rule. A problem on exams!
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 7th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC)
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I think they loan them out and you pay if you lose one...it was hard to tell what she was saying.

I really wish I could buy her the pink one we saw online that she liked...but if we're going to make it to China in Jan, I have to be really careful what I spend money on between now and then.


Edited at 2011-09-07 10:50 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:marycatelli
Date:September 8th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
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She'll need it for physics. And chemistry.

At college, we only needed calculators on non-math tests.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 8th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
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But she has a nice $40 calculator that does all sorts of stuff that she got last year. So, it's not like she doesn't have a calculator.
[User Picture]
From:jjbrannon
Date:September 8th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)

Type?

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Graphing calculator, Jagi?

Many schools require them under the theory that the rote calculation toward graphing -- especially among girls -- obstructs the visualization necessary to connect abstract formulae with the shape of linear and curve functions.

I don't subscribe to that pedagogical notion's validity but then I had an intuitive grasp of the rudiments of algebra when I was nine.

[In the three month interval between my stepfather's postings to Texas and Panama in 1968, my mother and siblings lived down the hall from my aunt's apartment and one Saturday while watching TV at her place her daughter, my four-year-older cousin Susan, left her math book plopped open on the living room floor while she grabbed a snack from the kitchen only to return to find me, diverted from cartoons, rapt over the end-of-section simple linear equation problems. Amused by the sight of her third-grader cousin puzzling over her accelerated seventh-grade text she quizzed me on what I thought I was doing. I told her, "Figuring out these letter and number problems," so she challenged me to the answer to the first one and I solved it. After the fourth correct solution, I hit a stumper and said I couldn't make it work out right but was it, for example, four-fifths. She told me no and asked if I knew what a negative number was. When she gave me the examples of a thermometer and an elevator reaching different levels of basement floors, I immediately understood the solution and she called her mom in from the other room to watch me work the equations in my head.]

Since I have a biased POV, I can neither refute nor confirm the validity of the calculator-assisted approach in improving mathematical competence for the widest portion of students; however, the scholarly articles I've read indicate that rote-drilling in math fundamentals at an early age promotes greater comprehension in more advanced abstract math for most student **if** one keeps in mind that students varying considerably in ability and should be tracked/grouped according to aptitude rather than forced into a "one size fits all" academic solution.

I found during my life an emphasis on real-world estimation-practice techniques, including the vital orders-of-magnitude roughing, more useful than any specific algebraic or trigonometric identity. Forex, a running total of the cost of a basket of groceries as I shopped or the de-WSODing number of required yearly victims for three vampires in the NOLA area as depicted in the awful Interview with a Vampire.

JJB
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 8th, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)

Re: Type?

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LOL Very interesting. What a cool childhood experience!

It is a graphing calculator that they want. I remember graphing as one of my favorite parts of all math. My daughter is good at math. She graphed stuff last year, even negative numbers. Sure...having the calculator would make it EASIER, but...

My daughter wants to go to China in Jan. Extra stuff is going to have to wait until after that trip.
[User Picture]
From:bojojoti
Date:September 8th, 2011 05:00 am (UTC)
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I remember the sticker shock when our son needed one for his advanced mathematics. But, we bought it. About a week later, someone stole it from his bookbag, and we never saw it again. We bought him a much cheaper one, and he had to make do.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 8th, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
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Advanced Mathematics, I'd at least understand. This is regular Freshman math, Algebra, I believe.
[User Picture]
From:princejvstin
Date:September 8th, 2011 12:47 pm (UTC)
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I think that part of the thinking is that in their minds, the manipulation of numbers is secondary and should take a back seat to learning the process of algebra.

That is to say, less time number crunching and more time learning how to do the actual algebraic manipulations. I don't know that it really works like that in practice.

What we learn changes and not always for the worse. I learned Roman numerals, when I was young and strong. I can't imagine that is taught anymore...
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 8th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
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To make it absolutely clear. I don't object to calculators in class. I don't even object to the fancy $40 one I had to buy her last year that has fancy functions.

But I dont' have $125 to spend on a calculator, just so that she doesn't have to graph stuff!!!!

There's a cute pink one, ($125 calculator...and it's pink) and if I sell my novel this fall, I'll get it for her. Otherwise, she'll have to wait until after our trip to China...unless she would rather a calculator and not to go to China...which I doubt. ;-)
[User Picture]
From:dirigibletrance
Date:September 11th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
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To be fair, those Texas Instruments graphing calculators last for FRICKIN EVER. The TI-86 that I bought in 1997 still works. I used it through both high school and college.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 11th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
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That's nice to know...should I be able to afford one, at least I won't have to replace it.

Though I'll have to afford more for the boys eventually. I doubt they'll want to use their sister's pink one. ;-)
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