Last Resort Calculators
March 18, 2013
At the beginning of the year, when my students were learning integers, evaluating expressions and solving equations, I didn’t permit them to use a calculator. Later in the year, when we covered ratios, percentages, finding areas, etc., they still had to show the setup of the problem but could use a calculator to get the right answer.
The best part was that during a test, they could only use a calculator during the last 5 minutes. This accomplished many things; most importantly, it kept the students very quiet as they waited for those last 5 minutes because if the class became too noisy, they lost their calculator privileges. I believed in teaching bell to bell from the first day of school to the last, and this was a great way to do it on test days.