Mr. Osbourne's Website

Class schedule (Regular/Mass Days)

First Hour 7:27-8:18 (7:27-8:03): Prep Hour

Second Hour 8:21-9:12 (8:07-8:42): Algebra II (10th Grade)

Third Hour 9:16-10:07 (8:45-9:20): Algebra II (9th/11th Grade)

Fourth Hour 10:10-11:01 (11:31-12:09): Math Essentials

Fifth Hour 11:32-12:25 (12:13-12:51): Precalculus

Sixth Hour 12:28-1:20 (12:55-1:33): Physics

Seventh Hour 1:23-2:15 (1:37-2:15): Elementary Computers (1:40-2:10)

                  Mon - 4th Grade (Cook) Tue - 3rd Grade Wed - 5th Grade Thu - 2nd Grade (Eddy) Fri - 1st grade

Lunch: 11:03-11:28

Mass: 9:30-10:35, (Mass days only)

Advisory Period: 10:38-11:01 (Mass days only)

 

Calculators

There are many calculators out on the market. Each one has its own pros, cons, abilities, and of course prices. Here are a few thoughts when buying a calculator.

Texas Instruments is the leading company when it comes to calculators for the high school and undergraduate level student. These calculators will work for almost any class. I have also seen students use Casio brand calculators and have not had too many problems with them. Casios do, however, present a challenge because most teachers, myself included, use TI.

As far as the Texas Instruments calculators go, here are a few of the more common ones. The most basic that I recommend for high school and beyond are the TI-30 series of battery and solar powered calculators. These are cheap and will do your basic arithmetic operations, logarithms, exponents, roots, and even trigonometric operations. They also have a bit of memory and a few other gizmos. I do not recommend these calculators except for the possibility of geometry classes because they do not graph, which is very common requirement these days.

The TI-83+/TI-84+ calculators are your standard graphing calculators. These calculators will get the student through any high school or college math course, science course, or standardized test (assuming that calculators are allowed in the first place). As this is what I have and use in class, this is the one that I recommend the most. The 83+ is one of the oldest graphing calculators and is still in common use - a definate oldie but goodie. There are also the TI-84+ Platinum edition calculators which have some additional features, but I do not recommend them simply because the few extra things are not needed and not worth the extra money.

For the serious math student, there is the TI-89+. These are similar to the 83/84 series but have the additional feature of doing calculus (does derivatives and integrals), 3-D graphing, factoring, and several other more complex things that the 83's and 84's just don't do. With the Calculus addition, they can definately help out in a more advanced course (I can testify). There are several drawbacks though. First, students may become overdependent on them to do complex things which may lead to marked down grades for incomplete work, which leads to the next disadvantage. Some standardized tests and many teachers do not allow these calculators to be used! Therefore, unless the student has access to a backup calculator for these occasions, I do not recommend these ones. A third disadvantage is that many commands and programs that might be used are different for these than the 83's/84's. For example, using the lists and regression commands can be different. Since the instructions given in class are for the 83/84 models, the student would have to research on their own how to do these things. On the other hand, if a student is able to use them responsibly and is somewhat tech-savey, it might be worth the few extra dollars, especially if they are relatively certain that they are going to be doing extensive study in math and science once out of high school.

In a similar class is the TI-92+. This more or less the same as the TI-89 with one huge difference: it has a standard typepad. For this reason, this calculator is banned on all tests that I know of and for this reason, I believe it to be a waste of money.

Finally, we have the TI-Nspire. This is the latest technological advancement in calculators. It has the ability to do more advanced graphing along with all the stuff an 84 can do. Being the latest gadget, it is definately not necessary for the average student, at least not yet. Again, cool, but not necessary. Stick with something more simple (and cheaper). Also, the TI website says that this is the only one of their calculators suitable for college math: definately not the case. It is simple enough to breeze through (relatively speaking) on an older and cheaper one.

For more info, here is the TI Website. Be forewarned, they are trying to sell you something and want you to buy the more expensive stuff. Calculators cost a bit of money and should be researched before being bought. Feel free to consult me on more details. Remember, while in St. Patrick's high school, students are able to share a calculator provided that they don't have math class at the same time. I do have a couple of student use calculators in my classroom, but they are on a first-come, first-serve basis.