This looks just like my turtle.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
I went to the mall to buy my best friend a birthday present. It was the day after her birthday, so I thought that I had procrastinated long enough. I had to be at work by twelve, and then I had to go right to my other job. I would not have time to go get her present later. Since I was already at the mall, I figured I would pick up lunch for my co-worker and myself. I got his pizza, and then I went to Subway. My total came out to 6.21. I handed the man at the register a twenty, and I told him that I had a penny. Well, right as I was saying that, he hit enter. So all of my change came out of that cool machine, that a lot of stores have now, and the man took it. I still had my penny in my hand. He looked at the change and then at the drawer. He was trying to figure out what he should give me since I told him that I had a penny. I told him to take my penny and give me a nickel. He didn't comprehend how that was possible. To stop his suffering, I told him that it was fine and to just give me all of the change. He said that he was sorry. I took the change and went to work. That incident only helped me believe that I am in the right when I will not let my students use calculators.
I work at Disc Replay and KB Toys. Every time I use the register, I feel myself getting lazier and lazier. I get so used to looking at a screen and seeing the exact change I have to give to the costumer. We can only blame ourselves for students wanting to use calculators for everything. I see why we have computers and registers that do the change for us though. Costumers want to make sure that they are getting the right amount of change back. I don't know how many times I have given bills and coins to costumers and they don't even count it. They just assume that I know how to make change and that I gave them the right amount. I always count out at least the bills to the costumer so that they are aware that I did give them the right amount. On Saturday, the manager at KB Toys was training a guy that he just hired. The guy hit the cash button and then he hit the enter button which told the register that the costumer was paying with cash and that they paid with the exact amount. The guy had to figure it out in his head. I was surprised when he got it right. It's nothing against his ability to do math. It was just that I assumed that he would not be able to figure it out. I don't know how many times I find myself balancing my check book and I pull out my calculator. I realize that it is so much quicker to just to hit some buttons and get the answer. This is why we have calculators, to make our lives easier. I am just afraid that in the future, no one will be able to do math without a calculator.
Since I want to be a high school math teacher, the topic of when students should use a calculator will come up. I am not completely against letting students use their calculators; it's just that I don't think that students need to use it all the time, especially for simple addition and multiplication problems. I think that students should be able to do two digit multiplication problems in their heads. If they can't, then they should be able to on paper. On tests, I will ask my students if they want to use their calculators or not. I will tell them that if they choose to use their calculators, then the test will be harder, but if they choose not to, then the test will be easier. I know that I cannot stop students from using calculators on their homework, but during the class I will not let them use it, unless we are doing "hard" problems.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
I will be using blogs to post example problems for my high school math classes. This will give them the extra practice that they might need. Not all students have to do the problems, but the ones that want the extra practice can. Students can see how other students solved the problems, and some students might understand or learn different ways to solve problems.