The point of this Quick Write is to get students thinking of their use of calculators in the past and how comfortable they are with technology. They will be using TI technology frequently in this course so their use of and attention to precision when using this technology (MP#5 and MP#6) are vital.
Students will enter the classroom and answer the following question in their binder or on a piece of paper (teacher choice, I have a required binder with Quick Write section they are graded on)
"Describe what kind of calculators that you have had used in the past. Did you feel that you knew how to use the kind of calculator to the best of it's capabilities?"
Students should have more access to technology in an engaging and relevant way. The TI NSpires allow them to use technology in a way that creates engaging lessons, formative assessments, and relevant hands-on activities. In this section I use a TI-NspireCXOverView 2013 PowerPoint to introduce to the key features of the TI N'Spires*. I assign students a calculator and they go through the key features of this section practicing using the buttons and features of the calculators. We discuss the usefulness of some features and when they will be used in this course. I also bring up compare and contrast how the previous graphing calculators (TI83/TI84) and the N'Spires. This happens before the Scavenger Hunt.
* Presentation adapted from work presented by Patrick Flynn, Texas Instruments trainer.
During this section students will work though a scavenger hunt individually, asking for help when needed. I usually walk around during this point helping find buttons and asking scaffolding questions such as:
This is a TI N'Spire Navigator polling technique. What I like about the polling technique is that during this time, I use these five questions on algebra 1 skills to assess if the students understand how to use the calculators AND as a formative assessment on Algebra 1 prerequisite content. Once the poll is submitted and automatically scored, I can use the time after each poll is sent out to review basic Algebra skills needed and focus on any differentiation needed based on individual students responses.