Using hand-held calculator to develop mathematical concepts of college freshman

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For over a decade the graphic calculator has been promoted not only as a computational tool but also as a thinking tool. For example, as an aid to enhance conceptual understanding, as a problem solving tool and as means of enabling students to engage in meaningful investigations. However, research studies focusing on these aspects have shown mixed results and have mostly focused on graphs and functions. This research study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of handheld calculator to develop mathematical concepts of freshmen college. The subjects for this study were five college freshmen enrolled in College Algebra at Columban College -Sta. Cruz, Zarnbales. The use of graphics calculator design was used. The researcher himself handled the student within the period of seven weeks during the month of August and September. At the start of the semester, the students were expected to use the calculator features, this was suggested by the teacher simply demonstrating the use of particular feature and by the opportunity in these activities for students to freely use the calculator in investigations while the teacher acted as a consultant. Rubrics was used in the study to evaluate the performance in working with handheld calculator and journals. An activity sheet was given to the students after the discussions on the topics are through and journal has been evaluated. Their performance were classified as one of the following: novice, apprentice, practitioner and expert. At the end of the semester, the students are able to explore the problem situation using handheld calculator. They were able to explain the mathematical concepts effectively. Students gave a positive output showing better results from the given activity. They manifested the outcome as expected. The activities they performed using handheld calculator helped develop their understanding of concept. The multiple representations made possible by the calculator helped students comprehend situations graphically, numerically and symbolically. These visualizations allowed students to enjoy the subject and motivated them to learn.



Science and Mathematics Education


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Calculators; Mathematics—Study and teaching

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