Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
I might be showing my age, but I remember having teachers tell me that I wouldn’t have a calculator in my pocket when I needed to do math. Fast forward to today and most of us carry phones that can do more math than the calculators we used in class. With that in mind, I was excited to review Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator: Augmented Intelligence for all 21st Century Students from Triad Math, Inc..
I know that calculators are common tools and can be a huge help to math students, but only when they understand how to utilize the calculator. As a former teacher and now homeschool mom, too often I have seen students get problems incorrect because they were not appropriately using the calculator. My seventh-grade daughter is currently taking pre-algebra. She does fine in math but it is not her favorite subject. However, when I explained that this program was going to be showing her how to use her calculator in her math class, she was thrilled at the chance to give it a try.
We did this program 2-3 days a week in addition to her regular math program. Each lesson took her about 20 minutes to complete. There are a total of 25 lessons, but as a pre-algebra student she is only working her way through the first 13 but as she goes into algebra next year she will go through the next two lessons, and then when she reaches trigonometry she will work through the last lessons.
The program consists of a paperback student workbook with twenty-five lessons and a video component to accompany each lesson. There are also pre-tests for each skill and then a quiz after completing the lesson. The program is designed specifically for the TI-30xa calculator and the first lesson goes through an introduction of that calculator. Then the lessons begin teaching specific skills on the calculator such as negative numbers, percentages, multiplication and division. Then it moves into fractions and decimals. As students progress through math, and this program, they can learn to do trigonometric functions like SIN, COS, TAN, and engineering functions like density.
When I asked for her opinion, she said that overall she liked the program. She mentioned that she felt it was important to understand the math concept before you did the lesson. That was important because this program does not teach the math concepts, only how to use the calculator to solve them.
After seeing how much it helped her and the confidence it gave her in using her calculator, I plan to purchase another book and have my son who is a freshman take the course. I think he will find it beneficial as he moves forward with higher-level mathematics.
Overall, I would recommend this program for any student that wants to be more comfortable using a calculator in upper level math work. I wish there were options for different calculators but much of what is learned would transfer to other calculators and the TI-30xa is a fairly inexpensive and readily available model. Visit Triad Math, Inc. to find out more or purchase this product and click on the graphic below to read about how other families used the program.