The thought of using a scientific calculator in your homeschool can be a little intimidating! All of those strange symbols and keys . . . whew! Sure, it has an instruction booklet, but it might as well be in a foreign language for all the help it gives. It's one thing to know what a button does, it's quite another to know how to use it properly.
What's Included with the Course
Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator course consists of the textbook and online videos housed on the Moodle platform. You also need a TI-30Xa calculator which is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at most big box stores.
Each lesson includes:
- Pretest - to determine how much you already know
- Notes from the worktext - a PDF download of the worktext page
- Video lesson - the author of the course is teaching
- Exercises in the worktext - this is also a PDF download of the worktext page
- Answers to the worktext exercises
- Post-test - to discover what you've learned and where you might need to review
- Forum - for asking questions; you can even upload an image of your work so that the teacher can help you figure out where you went wrong
How to Use It
The course is very flexible. You can work straight through the lessons, or you can skip around if you're already familiar with some aspects of the calculator.
The first 15 lessons cover the basics of using the calculator for simple processes such as real and negative numbers, multiplication and division, percentages, fractions, and squares. The next 5 lessons cover more advanced processes used in Trigonometry and higher maths, and the final 5 lessons focus on STEM applications.
When my daughter completed lessons, she would sometimes watch the videos and sometimes she would just read the textbook and complete the exercises. Once she got to the more advanced functions, she found the videos to be very helpful. They are short and to the point without a lot of fluff, which she appreciated.
What We Thought
My daughter loved that the lessons were precise. She could complete an entire lesson, including the exercises, in less than 20 minutes, but she learned a great deal from each one.
Before she began the course, she would only use the basic functions of the calculator - addition, subtraction, etc. After completing 8 lessons, she feels far more confident in using the more advanced functions. She understands why she is using them and how they work, not only on the calculator but also on paper.
I love that I can track her progress simply by logging into the Moodle system. Everything that she has completed is checked off so that I can quickly see what she's finished and what she still needs to work on.
Don't Just Take My Word For It!
This is only one of 22 reviews that are available for the Mastering the TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator: Augmented Intelligence for all 21st Century Students course by Triad Math, Inc. Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew page to read more reviews by clicking on the banner below.