Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013

TI Math

Straightforward, standards-aligned graphing calculator activities

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Math

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
7–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (4 Reviews)

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Pros: Teachers can choose from tons of activities, which are nicely organized.

Cons: The tasks aren't very engaging for kids.

Bottom Line: TI Math activities use graphing utilities and focus more on procedural learning than reasoning.

TI Math provides a wide range of math activities from Algebra on up. These activities are tailored toward Texas Instruments technology, though most can be done with any graphing technology. Most activities are best introduced to the whole class but then worked on in pairs or small groups. Problems can be sent home for homework as long as each student has access to graphing technology. (Desmos is a free online graphing calculator that's a good alternative to expensive physical calculators -- which can cost $80 and up -- if students have access to computers and the Internet.) TI Math has activities aligned with Common Core Standards, but they may need to be modified to truly meet the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

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TI Math is a website filled with activities for Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, Calculus, and Statistics classes. The site is sponsored by Texas instruments, and each activity asks kids to use a graphing utility such as graphing calculators, TI-Nspire, or TI-Navigator Technology. For example, kids might be asked to create a box plot and a histogram by comparing the two and drawing conclusions, connect the coordinates of the center of the circle and the radius to the parts of the circle equation (circle equations), or calculate gateway arc length.

TI Math’s greatest strength is that you can find a well-organized activity quickly for any of the Common Core High School Math Standards. Teachers can search by subject, key words, standards, or textbook. You can also look through lesson ideas by course. When searching for activities this way, there's a link for standards and textbook alignment.

The activities themselves vary in strength. Most of them have clear directions and attempt to provide real-world context for the math problems. The activities are very straightforward and directed, providing little opportunity for kids to puzzle through or try multiple strategies. For example, in "Double Tree," students “create” a mathematical model for a tree that doubles in height every year. However in reality they're not creating anything -- they're simply following a set of cookbook steps that show them how to replicate someone else’s model, which doesn't explain exponential growth in a particularly engaging or useful way.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

It's not as engaging as it could be, since kids don't get much of a chance to personally connect with the content. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Activities are very directed, so kids spend more time following directions than figuring things out and trying different strategies.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids receive ample help and instructions. TI Math has companion sites in different languages and for countries all over the world.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Carissa H. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Oakland High School
Murfreesboro, United States
Great activities that I usually spend hours generating!
Texas Instruments creates lessons that are like the ones I would spend hours generating! The lessons are clear and easy to follow! The lessons are creative, with nice connections to real world or big concepts which is valuable. The way it walks students through helps them see the big picture. It is nice that is organized with a clear flow, but the lessons always take longer than they "should" as the students work the way through them. They do help the students more than I probably would (they let them struggle less than I probably would and instead give them guidance in a step by step fashion) which if not careful could lead to more of a procedural focus.
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