Update: Dr. Scales Responds to Use of Math "Cheat Sheets"
In response to Ms. Rhonda Thurman's request for additional information regarding allowable accommodations for testing, please see the attached table by school showing usage of calculators and/or multiplication grids.
The focus of the grades K-5 curriculum is the development of basic arithmetic skills involving computational skills in addition to building a strong conceptual foundation and problem solving. We know that students must be proficient in basic skills, and there are specific grade level objectives that address these skills. For example, one of the third grade standards is "recall basic multiplication facts through 10 times 10 and the related division facts." Our teachers are working very hard to make sure their students are fluent with basic facts.
Hamilton County aligns with the state of Tennessee and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' philosophy for the use of calculators. They should be used at appropriate times as a tool to further the understanding of students' mathematical knowledge. Thus, calculators are intended to be used as a tool not as a crutch. Good instruction will utilize a variety of research-based resources to push the students to deeper understanding. Technology, multiplication grids and calculators are just a few of those resources.
Dr. Jim Scales
PREVIOUS STORY, MARCH 30, 2010