Common Sense Calculator Use
This section focuses on how to use the Casio fx-260 calculator. Once your students have mastered the mechanics, the main question is — how best to use it on the test.
- Inform your students that they will be given the calculator on Part I, but it will be taken away for Part II.
- Explain that they don’t have to use the calculator on every problem. (In fact they don’t have to use the calculator on any problem; it is simply being provided to them as an aid.)
- Go over sample problems with students and discuss — Would it be best to solve a problem with a calculator, mental math, or paper and pencil? Students should become aware of their own problem-solving style and what works best for them.
- Suggest that the calculator is an especially useful tool for doing or rechecking problems that are not in multiple-choice format.
- Finally, explain that calculators are not "fool proof." Anyone can make an error in "keying in" a problem. Urge your students to review each question and answer to make sure that their answer makes sense.