Education Technology

Let’s Get Back to the Basics

Posted 08/27/2019 by Courtney Ruggles

As the new school year kicks off, there are many lessons that teachers are exploring to challenge and strengthen their students. We have created one activity that can help you assess your students’ understanding of key math concepts, identify their different learning styles and strengths, and get them out of their seats.

This activity integrates collaboration and problem-solving strategies, as well as some challenging problems that will allow for high-level thinking in the classroom. The lesson will create discussion among students while they explore mathematical concepts with the TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators. Download the calculator printout and answer key here.

In the Back to the Basics Calculator Activity, students are required to challenge themselves with high-level problem-solving by graphing functions and equations, interpreting tables of values and evaluating expressions.

This activity is designed for algebra I and intended to be completed in one class period, but can be modified to fit your level or schedule.

To prepare for this lesson, follow the steps below:

  1. Download the activity, and print the lesson on colored cardstock.
  2. Laminate the colored cardstock to allow for future use.
  3. Cut out each printed calculator separately, so that it becomes its own card.
  4. Spread the cards around the classroom, creating opportunities for movement and collaboration.

As an instructor, you can then adapt how the students work through the activity, based on their needs and/or how you want to assess the learners. This would include adaptations such as heterogeneous or homogeneous grouping based on academic knowledge, assessing each child individually, or differentiating the expectations of the assignment based on student needs.

Download the calculator printout and answer key here.


About The Author: Courtney Ruggles is the Digital Content Marketing Manager for Texas Instruments Education Technology. Before joining Texas Instruments, Courtney was a math teacher and coach. She has always had a passion for kids and math and has now found her passion supporting both teachers and students at TI.