Educational Calculators

Part of my interest in calculators carries over into a personal  interest in classroom use of these machines and a professional interest in showing prospective teachers how to use them in their future classrooms.

Again, Texas Instruments leads the way in my collection and in my classes.

1. TI-108: The first TI calculator designed specifically for the elementary classroom.  The display shows 25 as the outcome of 2 + 3 × 5, illustrating that this machine uses arithmetic logic.
2. TI-7 Mathmate: The first calculator for the primary grades with full algebraic order of operations--that is, where 2 + 3 × 5 = 17, not 25.  (How I got this one to display 00 without a decimal point is a mystery...)

1. TI Math Explorer: This calculator has several nice features, including full fraction capability and division with remainder.  While it's designed for 4th-6th grades, the integer division function made it a calculator of choice in my recent Math 389, Topics In Number Theory, class at Albion.  A restyled version with a more streamlined case exists--photo to come.

2-3. TI Math Explorer Plus: This model, in two versions (identical except for styling), combines the arithmetic operations of the Explorer with the full functionality of a scientific calculator.

1. TI-15 Explorer: Introduced in 02000, the TI-15 contains a number of specialized keys for exploration of place value, operations with fractions, and solutions to arithmetic equations and inequalities.  This calculator is in use in my Math 104, Mathematics for Elementary Teachers, course at Albion in the spring of 02005.
2. TI-10: The newest (released in 02002) TI educational calculator is a scaled-down version of the TI-15 suitable for use in grades K-3.  Improvements over the TI-15 include separate keys for > and <, simplified memory operations, and direct keyboard access to many of the menu functions.

TI Galaxy Junior: This European calculator has many of the capacities of the Math Explorer in the horizontal Galaxy format.

TI-30Xa Solar School Edition: This new (in late 02004/early 02005) calculator is a custom model from TI made at the request of education officials in Virginia, for student use on that state's middle school standardized tests.  The fraction capacity of the scientific TI-30Xa has been disabled and the two fraction keys (lower left) blanked.

Update, 6/12/5: A student has figured out how to convert decimals to fractions using the Virginia calculator by pushing other keys.  If the photo at this story is accurate, the calculator above is the replacement for that model--and my quest for one of the recalled machines has just begun.  (Note: I bought my calculator in April 02005, so if this is the updated version, it was on the market before this whole story broke.)

The Educator Series of overhead projection calculators from the Stokes Publishing Company: These calculators are made of glass and have transparent keys and display areas for easy overhead projection.  The keys are identical to the specified Texas Instruments calculator.

1. Basic: Equivalent to the TI-108.
2. Elementary: Equivalent to the TI-7 Mathmate.

Intermediate: Equivalent to the TI-12 Math Explorer (above).

1. Scientific Plus: Equivalent to the TI-30Xa SE.
2. Advanced: Equivalent to the TI-34.

Gradematic 3000: "Educational calculator" in a different sense, this product from Calculated Industries allows for easy grade calculation with standard or self-defined letter grade scales.

Last revision: 12 June 02005.