Scientific Calculators are needed for all levels of math prior to Algebra 2. Once a student is entering into Algebra 2, a graphing calculator is required.
The calculator you purchase now will be used in all subsequent math courses and science courses including those at the college level. There are many good graphing calculators on the market. We have found that the TI-Nspire CX, TI-83+ or TI-84+ made by Texas Instruments are good quality calculators that hold up well to student use and best suit the needs of our program. (The TI-84+ is a newer version of the TI-83+.) Our teachers will demonstrate procedures using one of these three calculators. We have found that students who use one of these models can easily follow class demonstrations and will not be distracted while trying to figure out how to execute a similar operation on a calculator with a different operating system. Some students or parents may feel that if the TI-83+ or TI-84+ is good, a TI-86, 89 or 92 is better. This IS NOT the case. The TI-86 is designed for a different purpose and lacks some of the programming that is frequently used in math classes. The TI-92 is not allowed on SAT and AP tests. And the TI-89 is more expensive because it contains programming that is not necessary until students reach much higher level courses.
We understand that graphing calculators are very costly. We do have TI-83 calculators to loan to students for the year. The student is responsible for returning the calculator to his/her teacher at the end of the year.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail Stacey Knerr at firstname.lastname@example.org.