The standards of education all across the globe are rapidly transforming and it is our duty to keep up with it. While children using calculators to solve math problems was a foreign concept in the past, it is now considered normal, even encouraged in multiple schools and universities across Dubai, UAE, GCC and the Middle East. Now, we know you must be wondering, if a child is using a calculator to solve a math problem, then how are they learning anything on their own? While your concern may seem valid, we are here to bust that myth. Even to use a calculator, you still have to think! The math problems handed out in tests are extremely lengthy and the use of calculators will not only excite them but also help them with critical and analytical thinking in a much faster way. One of the other ways to keep your child hooked to math is by using the online programs by Mathletics. They offer interactive yet flexible programs for students and keep them intrigued through attention-grabbing activities and rewards. A flexible math program also helps them understand concepts and problems at their own pace and style. Multiple teachers who introduced calculators to their students have observed a peak in interest and a boost in motivation as well as mathematical skills. Here are a few more reasons why you should hand your child a calculator as well.
#1 Calculators encourage the use of varied strategies
Math problems at higher elementary levels are famous for being lengthy and complex in nature. Using a calculator helps children save time and therefore allows them more time to solve the problem in more ways than one. For example, they can use one strategy to solve the problem and another on the calculator to re-check the answer.
#2 It promotes persistence and patience among children
Students will experience success with some problem-solving strategies and failure with others as they begin to think more creatively and attempt new methods. Many teachers noticed that when students couldn’t answer problems fast while using a calculator, they were less discouraged; they attempted to figure out why their ways didn’t work. They then changed their minds and tried a new method. And when you try newer methods to solve the problem, you learn way more than you will in a conventional non-calculator setup
3. Calculators help overcome computational limitations
Children frequently have the conceptual understanding to tackle problems that are far more challenging than their computing competence. Overcoming computational limits is especially beneficial for individuals with special needs and removes hurdles to more advanced levels of math training. It also encourages a more inclusive learning environment as all the students will have access to the same calculators during the test.
#4 Students can solve more problems in less time
Since a calculator is essentially a machine, it derives answers to complex mathematical problems in much lesser time. It allows children to work more quickly and hence gives them time to solve more problems in the same time frame. The use of calculators strengthens their understanding of concepts while helping them apply complex strategies much quicker.
Learning math with calculators has had a tremendously positive impact on children and re-ignited their willingness to solve complex problems. So many students are scared of this subject because applying the strategies seem time-consuming, frustrating and overwhelming; this is the core problem usage of calculators tackles and in turn, boosts their understanding of the subject. Teaching them effective calculator skills will prepare them for the future of education!