Today was my quiet day, only two classes. But, I was busy all lunch upgrading my learners calculators!
Yes, that is the pile I have done today at lunch. About 5 learners have already come in and picked their calculator up, thank goodness. I am a bit nervous having $1200 of calculators sitting on my shelf, especially when they are not mine!
This is one of the things that we don’t often realize takes up a ton of time. The learners don’t realize that these things have operating systems, and that the operating systems change from time to time. When learners are buying calcs on eBay (which I always encourage because TI=ripoff) the calcs often come with out of date OS’s and are lacking functions that truly make the calc useful.
For example, look at the following two prompts, both come directly off of the TI-84:
Which one of these screens would you rather see when typing in information? Me too. The left one is much more friendly. I say at the beginning of my class, every day for the next two weeks, “You want me to make sure your calculator is updated. Please come see me.” We had a 2 minute discussion of what the current versions were the other day when we were talking calculators too.
I think this is the biggest change so far this year on the calculator front. Last year, I had 5% of my learners ask me to update their calcs. This year, I am up to around 40% already. That is worth it. I am really annoyed in May when someone says, “Yea, I knew there was something about updating, but I never bothered.” That person probably is not trying for a 5.
How to make this process easy? For the NSpires, have 2 4 port hubs with cables plugged in. This allows you to shove out updates to 8 similar calcs all at once using the Teacher Software.
For the TI-83 and 84’s you have to update one at a time, but it is fairly quick using TI-Connect.
Oh, and it helps if you have a directory that looks like this:
All the current OS update files, old update files (bcs the NSpire must be updated to 1.7 before you can take it to 3.9), 83, 84, 84C images, etc. I download all the new files when they update (2 times a year for the NSpires, really TI?)
What a pain in the butt. But it helps my learners.
Not much happened today. It was a continuation of yesterday (same content, different period). Tomorrow is my 3 in a row stats day. I am going to challenge them with some bad graphs and another short relay card race on contingency tables. Then, moving on to 1 variable quantitative stats. Yay!
Alg 2 Honors:
It was an AMAZEBALLS Day. We did this exercise with one quadratic function. Just one. But the conversation we had was so amazing. I gave then one, factorable function in Vertex form. Then we started going to town. The “wow, look at the connection here” and “oh, I get it why it was this!” and “wow, this is all the same stuff!” was terrific.
The homework was to do one more. The future of this looks like doing another one. Then, I will give one in standard form, and we will have to teach completing the square. And they will get one that has imaginary roots, and I will discuss imaginary numbers. This one page will get used 200 times throughout the year to deeply understand the functions and the connections between functions.
File can be downloaded too.
And the day was awesome because I said about 20 words, and my learners said about 200. I am shooting for a 5% ratio tomorrow.