- Mr. Chandler,

We will be starting Algebra 1 in the fall. Do I need to purchase a special calculator? If so, which one(s) do you recommend? I'd prefer to buy one that will last through all levels of high school math.

Thanks,

Lisa - I'm sure David will by answering your question soon - I'll throw out my suggestions...

We use a TI84+ - it is usable on the SAT & ACT - at least it was a few years ago and readily available at local retailers.

There is some benefit to using a simple add/subtract/multiply/divide calculator with Foerster's texts as I think the student has to think a bit more but the graphing calc is nice in Algebra 2 and beyond. The student can also write programs for formulas if they are so inclined.

We also use software: Geometer's Sketchpad, Graphmatica and now they want Mathmatica. Check out WolframAlpha.com for help in solving problems.

Best Wishes,

Mike - Hi Lisa,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. My inbox has been full lately.

I would recommend a simple scientific calculator at this stage. The ones I purchase for the school are Casio fx260 solar. These are on the order of $10, so getting one now and upgrading is a non-issue. This calculator uses algebraic logic and all the functions your child will need through high school. I know some teachers want students to use graphing calculators at some point, but I think computers are more appropriate for this kind of application. Graphmatica is a good shareware application I use with my lessons. The more features a calculator has, the less friendly it is for the kinds of uses it is best suited for.

Now, if your child really gets into science and math, I would seriously consider an HP calculator with RPN notation, starting with when your child takes physics. There is a little learning curve, but RPN notation is so much more fluent than algebraic logic for involved problems that it is well worth the effort to learn it when the time comes. (RPN is a "parenthesis free" notation system. You never need to use parentheses for even the most complicated problems.) The calculator I would recommend at that stage would be the HP 35s, which is available for around $50. By the way, the little on-screen calculator I use in my lectures (Calc-98) has an RPN setting.

--David ChandlerOn Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:03 AM, luckymomlle <lisaedwards2@...> wrote:Mr. Chandler,

We will be starting Algebra 1 in the fall. Do I need to purchase a special calculator? If so, which one(s) do you recommend? I'd prefer to buy one that will last through all levels of high school math.

Thanks,

Lisa