Mrs. Davis reports that “it becomes evident from student reactions to the TI-Nspire handhelds that their use triggers considerable motivation on the students’ part. Even though Mrs. Davis’ students are very comfortable and used to the calculators by now, they still react with phrases like “Oh! That is so cool” and “I wonder what will happen if” as they are working with the software and activities loaded onto the calculators.
“Also, once I have handed out an activity and the students begin working on it, one could literally hear a pin drop in the classroom since the students become completely absorbed by the activity. When questions arise during the activities, the students help each other more than ever, and ask each other and the teacher more questions than they ever ask during regular class.
The greater motivation on the students’ part when using the TI-Nspire handheld causes, in return, a greater motivation on the teacher’s part. For the teacher, it is significantly satisfying to see the students work hard and I get excited about geometry while they are independently discovering crucial geometric concepts. A teacher can tell when some of the weaker students finally “get it” and their faces light up. I am extremely satisfied with the work atmosphere in my classroom as the students are completing TI-Nspire activities.
“Another advantage of using the TI-Nspire handhelds was the ease of differentiating during class time without the students being aware of the differentiation. I just added an extension to the TI-Nspire activity knowing that many students would not have enough time to complete the extension. The students who pick up new concepts quickly worked through the extension and were challenged to apply the knowledge acquired during the course of the activity. Those students who ran out of time and could not complete the extension were reassured that it was okay to not have gotten to the extension.”
Her students were not the only ones who gained a better understanding of geometric concepts by integrating the TI-Nspire into the classroom. Mrs. Davis realized that using TI-Nspire activities improved her understanding of the subject matter as well. “I noticed that when I completed the TI-Nspire activities, I got a better and deeper understanding of the subject matter as well. So did one of my teaching colleagues, who has taught Geometry for over 10 years. All in all, I am a happier teacher.”