Education Technology

5 Spook-tacular Ways to Bring the Halloween “Spirits” Into Your Classroom

Posted 10/06/2021 by Ellen Fishpaw (@ellenfishpaw)

Halloween is the first big holiday of the school year, and teachers would be ghoulish not to take advantage of students’ excitement and the Halloween spirit. Here are five of our favorite ways to tap into the Halloween spirits with Texas Instruments. No tricks, only treats!

  1. Write creepy code on your calculator
    Code your calculator to draw ghosts like in the image below. Have your students draw the ghost and pumpkin using transformations of functions. Here’s a snippet of code to get you started with a ghost:

    • 0→Xmin: 0→Ymin: 264→Xmax: 164→Ymax: For(N,0,20,1): Pt-On(132-N,120-(1/10)N²,1,20): Pt-On(132+N,120-(1/10)N²,1,20): End
    • For(N,0,10,0.5): Pt-On(132-N,120-(2/5)N²,1,20): Pt-On(132+N,120-(2/5)N²,1,20): End
    • For(N,0,2,0.1): Pt-On(132-N,120-10N²,1,20): Pt-On(132+N,120-10N²,1,20): End

Calculator screen with a black background, ghost and pumpkin with the text Happy Halloween!!
Add some Halloween flair to your next coding lesson by helping students write a spooky program.

  1. Explore exponential growth with zombies
    Exponential growth and decay is often taught in the context of human populations, but what about zombie populations? This STEM Behind Hollywood activity explores the concept of exponential growth in the context of a zombie apocalypse. Trigger an outbreak of learning and infectious fun in your classroom — STEM Behind Hollywood: Zombie Apocalypse.

The activity provides students with an inside look at the math and science real-life epidemiologists use to track and curb the spread of diseases through a population.

  1. Dress up your TI-84 Plus CE or the TI-84 Plus CE Python graphing calculator
    Gather some orange and black filament and 3D-print a spooky spare case for your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator. Here is the Pumpkin Pi edition of our Halloween-themed slide case that you can print from a link on Thingiverse:

Insert slide case photo here
Up your Halloween game by printing a Pumpkin Pi case for your TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator.

  1. Create a calculator costume
    In the teacher world, Halloween is the one day a year when math teachers can dress like a TI-84 Plus, and no other teachers can say anything else about it. All you need is some construction paper, scissors, tape and ribbon to transform from a teacher to a TI-84 Plus.

Video thumbnail of a woman in a TI-84 Plus costume. Text on left side says DIY Calculator Costume
Watch this video to learn how to create your own calculator costume.

  1. Haunted! Or hoax?
    Put your students on a creepy case as they explore STEM and the ghost of Dead Man’s Curve. Ask students to analyze the science to decide if there’s even a ghost of a chance that a ghost is haunting the highway. Designed to complement middle school physical science and high school physics, the ghost of Dead Man’s Curve engages students in explorations of electromagnetism, the relationship of wavelength, and frequency and practical applications of electromagnetic principles with the TI‑Nspire™ CX or TI‑Nspire™ CX II graphing calculator.

Insert the ghost of Dead Man’s Curve photo here
Unravel a ghostly tale of a ride gone horribly wrong.

About the author: Ellen Fishpaw is the Media Relations and Communications Manager for Texas Instruments Education Technology. Before joining TI five years ago, Ellen was a broadcast journalist for 13 years, working at television stations across the country, from North Carolina to New Mexico. She most recently worked for NBC 5 in Dallas as a crime reporter before hanging up the microphone for a TI-84 Plus CE. Follow her on Twitter @ellenfishpaw.