Calculator Resources for Upper Grades {Uses, Skills & Games}

June 14, 2020

Annette Breedlove

Annette Breedlove

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Growing up, it was always frowned upon to use a calculator for math. We were told we needed to know how to do math without using a calculator. And while I believe that is important, with the advancement of technology, I believe we should teach our children how to use a calculator.

Maybe not for everyday math problems, but knowing how to use a calculator correctly is important. You can make it fun for them and even give them drills to work on certain skills while they learn. But if you don’t ever let them use a calculator and then suddenly for higher-level math they are supposed to know how – it can really put them at a disadvantage.

pen and calculator laid on green table with overlay - Calculator Skills for Upper Grades

Reasons to Use a Calculator in Math

That being said, there are plenty of reasons using a calculator for math isn’t all bad. For instance, I remember being able to have an approved cheat sheet during tests in my college Statistics class. No matter how many formulas were written on your sheet, if you didn’t know how to plug in the numbers and when to use them, you were still going to fail the test.

I believe the same could be said of calculators. Sure you can use them for basic math, but what about the more advanced math equations and graphing? Calculators are only as smart as their users, so if you don’t input the information correctly, you will get the wrong answer. Therefore, introducing calculator skills early rather than later can give them confidence in later years when it is required to complete problems.

Encourages those with Disabilities

Not only that, but it gives them another way to solve mathematical problems. Some children have issues with dysgraphia or dyslexia and writing and seeing numbers correctly is very difficult. Using a calculator can show them that they can still solve the problems and possibly help them see the numbers in a way that doesn’t get “mixed up” in their brain.

Improving Calculator Skills for Upper Grades

Using a calculator for upper-level math isn’t cheating. But it is important that they know and understand how to use them correctly. If you introduce them to calculators early on, they will gain confidence and be ready to use them as their math problems increasingly get harder. The basics will be second nature and aid them as they use them for more advanced calculating.

I have collected some resources found on the web for your high schoolers to use as additional practice. I will say there isn’t much out there for kids to work on these skills outside their normal assignments, but I did find a few. Most of them are on Teachers Pay Teachers and relatively inexpensive, with the exception of a few. These would be great for additional practice or as a review at the beginning/end of the year.

If you have high schoolers, use these calculator resources for upper grades to help them practice and understand their calculator even better.

Graphing Calculator Reference Sheets (TI-84) Bundle | Algebra and Beyond (TpT)

Graphing Calculator Activities BUNDLE | Math Geek Mama

Solving Systems Calculator Exploration {FREE} | Math Geek Mama

FREE Graphing Calculator Activity | Math Geek Mama

Maths and Calculator Skills for Science Students | pkScience and Maths (TpT)

Calculus Calculator Skills for the TI-Nspire | Teaching High School Math (TpT)

Digital/Print Escape Room: Calculator Skills | Brainy Cats Learning (TpT)

Calculator Skills 8 page Mini (Magic) Book | SrtaWaldo (TpT)

SAT Math Non-Calculator Skills Prep | David Prince (TpT)

Calculator skills: Absolute value functions | Jordan Slattery (TpT)

Calculator skills- Creating an equation | Jordan Slattery (TpT)

Graphing Calculator Skills Quiz (Algebra 1) | 304 Algebra (TpT)

Calculator Skills Baseline Quiz | Margaret Matchett (TpT)

Calculator Skills Warm-up | Margaret Matchett (TpT)

Calculator skills: System of equations | Jordan Slattery (TpT)

First Day of School Calculator Math Activity High School | Solutions for Math (TpT)

MATH LAB, Real World data, TI-84 Graphing Calculator, Prediction EQNs | Jim Whalen (TpT)

Graphing Calculator Practice Worksheet | The Camo Cross (TpT)


Find more homeschool resources on my Pinterest boards!

pen and calculator laid on green table with overlay - Calculator Skills for Upper Grades

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