• Brunswick High School

    Math Department Calculator Policy


    Brunswick High School is dedicated to student achievement and has instituted a calculator policy that will help prepare students for college and career mathematics. 

    1.    Students should master basic arithmetic and fractions prior to using a calculator.

    2.    It is strongly recommended that all students enrolled in an Algebra I or subsequent course own a TI 83 or TI 84 version calculator.

    3.    A graphing calculator is required for all students enrolled in an Algebra II or subsequent course.

    4.    Students in high school level courses will typically be assessed both with and without a calculator as appropriate to the skill being assessed. Many topics will be taught both algebraically and using technology.

    5.    Midterm and final exams will include graphing calculator related problems.


    Implementation of this calculator policy is based on Brunswick High School’s commitment to preparing students for college and career readiness. Standardized tests such as the ACT, SAT, The College Board (AP), and Ohio’s planned implementation of end of course exams through PARCC all recommend the use of graphing technology on their assessments.  Additionally, all recommend students have experience using these calculators prior to the test.  The PARCC board will provide a TI-84 compatible emulator with their computerized end of course exams.  Pursuant to these recommendations it became increasingly clear that it is best for students to become good users of this technology. 


    Students who are not able to purchase their own calculator may ask in the office to see if they're eligible to check out a BHS owned calculator for the year


    The Brunswick High School Math Department will provide instruction in the use of graphing technology to meet the needs of our students on these exams and beyond.  




    How calculators are used in common tests:

    ACT - http://www.actstudent.org/faq/calculator.html

    SAT - http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/calculator-policy 

    AP - http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/homepage/22504.html 

    PARRC - http://www.parcconline.org/sites/parcc/files/PARCCApprovedCalculatorPolicy-July%202012.pdf 

     Calculator requirements in Ohio’s Common Core Standards.

     Conceptual Category:  Number and Quantity

    "Calculators,spreadsheets, and computer algebra systems can provide ways for students to become better acquainted with these new number systems and their notation. They can be used to generate data for numerical experiments, to help understand the workings of matrix, vector, and complex number algebra, and to experiment with non-integer exponents"


    Conceptual Category:  Algebra

    Represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically.

    Explain why the x-coordinates of the points where the graphs of the equations y = f(x) and y = g(x) intersect are the solutions of the equation f(x)= g(x); find the solutions approximately, e.g., using technology to graph the functions, make tables of values, or find successive approximations. Include cases where f(x) and/or g(x) are linear, polynomial, rational, absolute value, exponential, and logarithmic functions.


    Conceptual Category:  Functions


    A graphing utility or a computer algebra system can be used to experiment with properties of these functions and their graphs and to build computational models of functions, including recursively defined functions.


    Connections to Expressions, Equations, Modeling, and Coordinates:


    Determining an output value for a particular input involves evaluating an expression; finding inputs that yield a given output involves solving an equation. Questions about when two functions have the same value for the same input lead to equations, whose solutions can be visualized from the intersection of their graphs. Because functions describe relationships between quantities, they are frequently used in modeling. Sometimes functions are defined by a recursive process, which can be displayed effectively using a spreadsheet or other technology.


    Conceptual Category:  Modeling


    Modeling links classroom mathematics and statistics to everyday life, work, and decision-making. Modeling is the process of choosing and using appropriate mathematics and statistics to analyze empirical situations, to understand them better, and to improve decisions. Quantities and their relationships in physical, economic, public policy, social, and everyday situations can be modeled using mathematical and statistical methods. When making mathematical models, technology is valuable for varying assumptions,exploring consequences, and comparing predictions with data.


    Conceptual Category:  Statistics and Probability


    Technology plays an important role in statistics and probability by making it possible to generate plots, regression functions, and correlation coefficients, and to simulate many possible outcomes in a short amount of time. 

    The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Technology Principle:

     Calculators and computers are reshaping the mathematical landscape, and school mathematics should reflect those changes. Students can learn more mathematics more deeply with the appropriate and responsible use of technology. They can make and test conjectures. They can work at higher levels of generalization or abstraction. In the mathematics classroom envisioned in Principles and Standards, every student has access to technology to facilitate his or her mathematics learning.


    Technology also offers options for students with special needs. Some students may benefit from more constrained and engaging task situations possible with computers. Students with physical challenges can become more engaged in mathematics using special technologies.  Technology cannot replace the mathematics teacher, nor can it be used as a replacement for basic understandings and intuitions. The teacher must make prudent decisions about when and how to use technology and should ensure that the technology is enhancing students’ mathematical thinking.