Introducing fx-CG50 into the classroom – 5 tips for maths teachers
Innovative as it may be, introducing new technology in the classroom can be a challenge. You’re already trying to both teach and engage students, so how will you add another layer of complexity to your working days? Fortunately, introducing the fx-CG50 calculator is easy. In fact, with the tips in this blog, it’s even fun! Thanks to the key features of the fx-CG50, including user-friendly icon menu, function keys and interactive format enable intuitive operation, you can focus on engaging students and building their confidence – rather than worrying about the technology itself.
Let’s take a look at our five top tips for introducing the fx-CG50 in the classroom.
Don’t worry about teaching kids technology
This may sound like bad advice, but introducing the fx-CG50 calculator to students is not about technology. Students learn fast. Give a seven-year-old a TV remote, and they’ll figure it out within minutes. For your students, who grew up using tablets and smartphones, there’s a low barrier to learning new calculator technology. Focus on teaching practical applications with the calculator, and exploring maths problems. They’ll figure the rest out as they go, giving you more time to focus on engagement.
Run little experiments
The great thing about the fx-CG50 calculator is that it allows you to graph functions, which means your students no longer have to stare passively at the whiteboard while you solve their maths problems for them. Whenever your students want to check whether they have the right value when solving an equation, take this as an opportunity to run little experiments. Ask the students to all get a visual representation of the equation on the screen, which will show them the right answer. This will prepare them for their exams when they must figure out all the maths problems themselves.
Introduce the technology early
A-levels are stressful enough as they are, so don’t ambush your students by introducing a new calculator only weeks before their exams. Instead, start using the fx-CG50 as early as possible: ideally at the start of year 12. At the end of the day, the fx-CG50 will be a much bigger support for students than the 991EX, especially during their A-levels; however, they need to feel confident using the new calculator.
Normalise the usage of the fx-CG50
Speaking of confidence: teach your students the basics of the fx-CG50, and then normalise it as quickly as possible. Tell your students to have the calculator on their desks at all times, just like a pen or a notebook. This will make students acquainted with having the fx-CG50 within reach at all times. In our interview with Melios Michael, Assistant Headteacher at the Maths department at Hamstead Hall Academy in Birmingham, he explains why this is so important: “A bit like using mini whiteboards to get a quick answer from everyone, when the graphic calculators can help support learning, you want them to be there, on the desk and ready to use. It means the device is already there as soon as a teacher feels it’s a good opportunity to explore further. Or, if a student asks, “Why does that work?” instead of answering it, teachers can say: “Let’s explore it.”
Ask for help
All of the above recommendations might be very helpful in getting your students up to speed with the fx-CG50, but what about you? Fortunately, as a teacher, you’re not alone in this journey either. We provide free skills training sessions to help you build confidence using graphic calculators in the classroom, which, in turn, will increase your students’ engagement. Sign up for your free session here!