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Are calculators required in Math classes now?

My SO told me that his 14 year old son is REQUIRED to have a calculator for math class at all times. When I was in high school, we were not allowed to use them at all (not EVER!). I don't understand this, how is a child expected to learn basic math (which is used on a daily basis out in the real world)? This really worries me for when our 2 year old enters the school system.
I have witnessed the utter stupidity that comes from this by this (14yr. old) child. He remarked just the other day at how amazing it was that his father was able to tell a cashier in a store the exact amount of change he should have gotten from a total of $13.46 and had given the cashier a $20 bill! I was in awe, that he reacted in awe of such a simple mathematical equation.....and so was his father.
I admit math was always my worst subject in school, but I can add and subtract in my head within seconds.

Answer Question

Asked by truthteller0722 at 12:52 AM on Jan. 22, 2011 in

Level 19 (6,797 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • Graphing Calculators are a must in the higher grades, good old Texas Instrument calculators that cost an arm and a leg. It is funny that they stress harder things and kind of skip the day to day things such as balancing a check book, or giving change.

    Answer by Melbornj at 12:55 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • I know in the college math classes I have taken you cannot use a calculator. I do remember a couple of math classes in high school that required a scientific calculator. That was for much more advanced math than addition and subtraction or even division and multiplication.

    Answer by kmath at 12:56 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Me too but my sons are 8 and 10 an they don't get to use them at all. I need one cause I have went back to school and the math class I just started is hard.

    Answer by LADYA1983 at 12:57 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • If I dedicated my time to teaching a 14 yr old how to do basic math, then I would never get the chance to teach them the curriculum. Ideally they should come in know the concepts but the reality is that they don't and it impedes instruction. As educative we blame the overload of standards where kids are only exposed to the basic concepts n never really internalize them. It's disheartening.

    Answer by Vero0724 at 12:58 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Plez excuse da typos

    Answer by Vero0724 at 1:00 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • not son is in 4th grade. not yet

    Answer by hellokitty1978 at 1:01 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Once my oldest kids went into middle school, calculators were mandatory in math class. I think it is ridiculous & I wish they would teach them to use their heads!

    Answer by eeyoreplus4 at 1:08 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • me too eeyoreplus4.......i have already told my SO that any math homework that comes home with our son in the future will be done minus the calculator, the old-school way! I will provide it if the school insists on it, but it will never come out of the backpack in my home!

    Comment by truthteller0722 (original poster) at 1:21 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • My DS is in Honors math, they have needed calculators since 6th grade (he's in 8th now). I think you are doing a disservice to your SS by not allowing him to use a calculator that is required and used by his class. They are doing problems that can't be done in your head (at least in my DS's class) - the calculator is a tool that they have to use properly in order to get the answers. The calculator isn't a "crutch," they have to understand the concept and fundamentals of what they are doing or the calculator won't help them.

    Answer by Scuba at 10:03 AM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • They were when I was in junior/senior high in the 90s. I had to have a scientific calculator in junior high and we were taught to use it but we couldn't use it all the time or on tests for stuff that didn't require it's special functions. In high school I had to have a graphing calculator (which I still have and use occasionally).
    They were also required in college except the professor wasn't going to sit around and explain how to do stuff on it, you were already supposed to know how or figure it out on your own. Although my college Algebra teacher banned the graphing calculators because kids were using them to cheat (saving all the equations in the memory and stuff).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:32 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

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