Graphing Calculators: Using Technology while Teaching Math
Graphing calculators are an excellent way of using technology while teaching math. If you are interested in other technologies, check out our page on teaching with computers or try teaching with manipulatives.
Texas Instruments Graphing Calculators 
The brand for graphing calculators is Texas Instruments (TI). Most school districts use the TI83, TI83+, or the TI84. The most recent model is the TI89, which is much more user friendly and also offers many new features. This page will focus on the TI83 family because it used so much more. C'mon, using technology while teaching math can be fun!
The Most Useful Features of a Graphing Calculator 
Find equation of a line in the form y=mx+b when given two points.

Push STAT

Push ENTER (EDIT should be highlighted)

Input xvalues in L_{1} and yvalues into L_{2}

Push STAT again

Push the right arrow button twice (CALC should be highlighted)

Push ENTER  the values of m (given as a) and b will appear



For a user friendly .pdf with pictures, click here.
Find solution to a system of equations in standard form
Push the MATRIX button (most models require 2^{nd }then x^{1})
Push ENTER ([A] should be highlighted)
Input in the values
Push MATRIX again
Push the down arrow to highlight [B]
Push ENTER
Input the values
Push QUIT (2^{nd} MODE)
Push MATRIX again and press ENTER ([A] is highlighted)
Push the x^{1 }button
Push MATRIX again, push down and press ENTER ([B] is highlighted)
Push ENTER  the top value is x and the bottom value is y.
For a user friendly .pdf with pictures, click here. 


Tips for Using Technology While Teaching Math 
Use screen capture and overhead projector so that you can demonstrate key strokes of a calculator.
If possible, acquire two overhead projectors. One to post your problems and the other for the calculator.
Allow a student to be your "finger pusher." It is a good way to engage a student and it gives you a chance to roam the room.
Make the calculator mandatory for some problems, and forbid its use for other problems.


The TI89 is much easier to use and has better features than the TI83 family. Of course, it is more expensive. Also, it is not commonly used in many school districts, so if you are a parent looking to buy a graphing calculator for your son or daughter, it is probably best to go with an 83. 
Using technology while teaching math can be easy with the right training. If you are not too familiar with the graphing calculators, don't worry, it will be easy for you to pick up after a little practice.
Want to learn an fun and exciting way to teach the substitution method? Why not learn how to use algebra tiles and get a free download while you're at it? Take a look at GRADEA's page on manipulatives.
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