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Simple calculators

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by PaulDG, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Can I suggest you at least seriously consider the Casio FX-83GT Plus?
    At around £6, (and sometimes on 3 for 2 at Tesco), it's a really, really good calculator that can do amazing things.
    It represents calculations on screen exactly as you'd write them and it obeys correct order of operations ("BODMAS"), which many of the really simple calculators do not - and it seems to me that the learners need to see correct order of operations followed at all times because they often seem to think it's only applicable in a "BODMAS question".
  2. Agreed - assuming this is for foundation tier students. Also has powers/reciprocals to help, and the oft-neglected [o ' "] button for those "Write 3.15 hours in hours and minutes" questions.
    If it's for KS3 then even better - get them used to it as early as possible.
  3. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    This is for equivalent of Yr 7/8 pupils sitting the lower tiers of Common Entrance. The Casio model whilst great for the more able is just too confusing for what these weaker pupils need. The exam requirements just require a square root and Pi button, and we would then also be able to use these calculators in class with the KS2 lower ability pupils, I don't really want to be buying a set of calcuators for the KS2 pupils and then a set for the KS3 pupils, I would prefer one calculator that I could use for the less able in yrs 5-8.
  4. maths126

    maths126 New commenter

    Pupils sitting the Level 1 and Level 2 tiers of the Common Entrance exam are unlikely to need Pi for circle calculation questions as this is more appropriate for Level 2 and Level 3 students.
    Similarly, the square roots mentioned in the syllabus at these lower levels are only those simple integer cases to be learned as opposites of squaring. To use either Pi or Square Root keys with understanding would indicate the student to be working at around NC L6.
    Having taught such students myself for CE in the past, and having seen the Casio FX-83GT Plus, I would add my weight to this being considered as your best option. The trouble with most 'basic' calculators is their stubborn refusal to handle BODMAS correctly, and for this reason alone they are best avoided.
  5. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Well working from a level one paper yesterday it asked them to write down Pi from their calculator and then round it.
    Again I want a basic calculator that can be used for the last 4 years of prep school, i.e. with less able 9 year olds onwards who are definately not ready for the demands of a scientific calculator, whether it does BIDMAS or not.
  6. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    So you would be happy to give a Casio scientific calculator to a 9 year old that was poor at Maths? I know I'm not, they are too complicated for children that can barely use a simple calculator!
    I want to buy a set of calculators for our Set 2 teacher, I do not want to buy him 2 sets of calculators.
  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Yes. I'd far, far prefer that to most of the so-called "simple" calculators that give the wrong answer to "2+3x4".
    Being "poor at maths" often begins with confusion over the "right" and "wrong" answer - typically when deeply-held misconceptions are challenged, confidence breaks.
    BODMAS is one big area for this. The child knows 2+3x4 is 20 (perhaps because they've struggled really hard to work it out with a combination of paper/pencil & finger methods) and when they're told it's actually 14, the confidence goes - and it's worse if they also have doubt that the answer of "14" is actually wrong too because their calculator gives the answer "20"!
    I disagree. They can ignore the buttons they don't use just as they ignore the buttons they don't use on the sky remote at home or on their xbox, ipods and phones.
    Buy the casio then!

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