May 31, 2014
Summary of Instructional Problem This coming school year 2014-2015 the Texas Education Agency will be applying the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills(TEKS). The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Grade 8 Mathematics is changing dramatically. Most of the new eighth grade TEKS are coming from the ninth grade TEKS. For the first time, the eighth graders are going to be allowed to use a graphing calculator. The use of graphing calculator are normally introduced in High School, now that the ninth grade TEKS are moved down to the eight grade TEKS the use of graphing calculator are now introduced in Middle School. Middle School Students are very restricted when using a basic calculator non the less a graphing calculator, but they are not alone middle school math teachers are not familiar with the use of a graphing calculator due to the fact that they never had to use it. In order for the students to learn how to use a graphing calculator to its fullness the teachers have to be taught first.
Current Conditions and Desired Conditions
Middle School math teacher do not know how to use a graphing calculator to its fullest potential. In Holub Middle school nine out of ten teachers did not know how to graph a given equation using a graphing calculator , few teachers from Houston ISD where asked similar questions and none of the five teacher could graph the given equations , turning points, X-intercepts , Y-intercepts, Zoom in, probability, finances, distribution, mean, median, mode, and stander deviation. If more than 90 percent of the middle school teachers do not know how to use a graphing calculator , then there is a need for instructions .
After two week of training on the new TEKS and using a graphing calculator, 9 out of 10 math middle school teacher will know how to graph a given equation, will accurately answer 9 out of 10 questions using only the graphing calculator . Middle school math teachers will not only know how to use the graphing calculator for basic operation but also for graphing, solving for an unknown number (variable) , finding the turning points, X-intercepts , Y-intercepts, Zoom in and out, probability, finances, distribution, mean, median, mode, and stander deviation.
Discussion of Data Collection Instruments Used
To verify that an instructional unit on graphing calculator is needed for the teacher , the designer conducted a needs analysis. Teachers where asked to complete an individualized questionnaire, and small group discussion. For the individualized questionnaire each teachers where provided with a graphing calculator to assist with answering the questions. While the small group only had two graphing calculator for group of seven math teachers and a math specialist. The individualized questionnaire consists of ten questions as shown below;
Using a Graphing Calculator
This is a questionnaire; please take a couple of minutes to answer the questions as best as you can. You can only use a graphing calculator to answer the question (a graphing calculator is given).
1. Solve the equation
Find the X-intercepts , Y-intercepts,
2. Graph Y= 2X+7
Find the value for Y when X= -500,