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GRAPHING CALCULATORS AND STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT

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GRAPHING CALCULATORSANDSTUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT

BY

RAED DANDAN

5.F. Technology

- Use technology to gather, analyze, and communicate mathematical information.
- Use computer spreadsheets, software, and graphing utilities to organize and display quantitative information (cf. workplace readiness standard 8.4-D).
- Use graphing calculators and computer software to investigate properties of functions and their graphs.
- Use calculators as problem-solving tools (e.g., to explore patterns, to validate solutions).
- Use computer software to make and verify conjectures about geometric objects.
- Use computer-based laboratory technology for mathematical applications in the sciences (cf. science standards).

“Mission: Through Career and Technological Education, students identify and pursue career goals, apply communication and critical thinking skills, develop employability skills, and plan for further education and employment.”

- Every student in the district receives a TI 84 plus loaner from the school. (No social justice problem)
- The curriculum is geared toward infusing technology into the classroom (as part of NJ CCCS)
- The books have several graphing calculator practices and instructions. Problems involving graphing calculators are in every section.
- THE CURRICULUM MEETS THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS

- THE TEACHERS ARE THE MAIN PROBLEM IN HERE.
- Teachers are resisting the change for 3 reasons:
- Personal Belief: There is a myth that says: depending on the calculators make the students learn less and understand only how to press buttons on the handheld device.
- Too Much to Learn: Some teachers are not willing to invest time in learning the millions of functions and applications in the new technology
- Familiarity: Teachers are happy with the status quo of the “chalk and talk” teaching style. It is a whole new way to teach a hands-on math class.

- Teachers are not really held accountable to the use of technology. Even though it is an item on the evaluation sheet, supervisors don’t put too much weight on it.

- The school offers paid summer training sessions in mathematical technology: software, graphing calculators and black board.
- The supervisor has a PD plan that involves technology for each one of the teachers.
- We have a staff member that is a TI trainer in the building.

- Every student has a graphing calculator.
- Every class has a computer and black board.
- The school has more than 5 computer labs one of them is a math lab.

- Even though the curriculum calls for interdisciplinary connections and provide several cross curricular activities, almost no one applies it.

- Available research
- Aimee Ellington reported that Forty-two studies comparing students with access to graphing calculators during instruction to students who did not have access to graphing calculators during instruction are the subject of this meta-analysis. The results on the achievement and attitude levels of students are presented. The studies evaluated cover middle and high school mathematics courses, as well as college courses through first semester calculus. When calculators were part of instruction but not testing, students benefited from using calculators while developing the skills necessary to understand mathematics concepts. When calculators were included in testing and instruction, the procedural, conceptual, and overall achievement skills of students improved. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ751981&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ751981

TI reported that:

A growing body of research* shows that graphing calculator use improves students’

- math skills as well as their attitudes toward math.
- Specific research studies show that use of graphing calculators:
- n Improves student skills and achievement in high school and middle school math.
- n Positively impacts student performance in algebra.
- n Improves math test scores – with and without student calculator use during testing.
- n Leads to significantly better student attitudes toward math.
- n Promotes higher student achievement when incorporated into the curriculum.
http://education.ti.com/sites/US/downloads/pdf/6637.pdf

- Many other researches show the effect of graphing calculators on student learning and student achievement.
- At PCTI since the school started providing students with graphing calculators in 2004-2005 the HSPA proficiency level jumped from 52% (according to the supervisor) in 2003-2004 to 64.9% in 2004-2005; 59.3% in 2005-2006 and 64.2% in 2006-2007. Even the advanced proficiency increased from 4% in 2003-2004 to 6% in 2004-2005, 7% in 2005-2006 and 9% in 2006-2007

- Data Collection and Analysis:
- I conducted 2 different experiments to track the effect of graphing calculators
1- Compared midterm results among 6 algebra 2 midterm. All classes are sophomore concept classes. 2 of these classes are taught by teachers who stress the use of graphing calculators. The others are taught by teachers who don’t use graphing calculators much.

- Background: all of these students took Algebra 1 in the freshmen year. None of them were exposed to graphing calculators before sophomore year. None of the students passed Algebra 1 with 80 or above. Hence they were placed in concept algebra 2.
- Result: the 2 classes who used graphing calculators had a midterm average of 87 with a standard deviation of approximately 3.5
- The other classes combined had an average of 64 with a standard deviation of approximately 8.4

- I conducted 2 different experiments to track the effect of graphing calculators

2- Concentrate on Quadratic Equation presentation and testing:

Compared 2 teachers covering chapter 5 (quadratic equation). One of the teacher did not use graphing calculator the other did.

Assessment: Students in the class using the graphing calculator were able to recognize and match the functions with the graph, solve quadratic equations, identiry the effect of the parameters and identify cases of no solution using the (h-k) format and the graph in 2/3 of the time and more accurately than the other class.