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29 November 2005
Math Faculty Donate Graphing Calculators
Helping Local Students

Two Jacksonville State University faculty members are donating special calculators to a local school and providing a workshop on their use in order to help students improve their reasoning skills.

Marilyn Johnson of Rainbow City, instructor of mathematics, and Dr. Jan Case of Jacksonville, associate professor of mathematics, achieved a $3,000 grant from the Benjamin Banneker Association, Inc. and Texas Instruments. They used a portion of the funds to buy graphing calculators for students at Sacred Heart to use in their mathematical concepts classes.

The courses are part of the required core curriculum for all students seeking certification in early childhood, elementary, and middle school education.

According to Johnson, "Our desire is not to replace the basic understandings and thought processes that students achieve through manual calculations with pencil and paper. Instead, by freeing students from the rudiments of arithmetic, we hope to free them to focus more on reasoning, pattern recognition, decision making, and ultimately problem solving. In doing so, we should be able to enhance their basic understandings and thought processes."

Dr. Case said that in addition to helping pre-service teachers, the grant provides funds to support in-service teachers as well.

"To this end, we will present a demonstration workshop at Sacred Heart School on December 12," said Dr. Case. "At the workshop, the school will receive instruction and calculators worth more than $1,200 to encourage the incorporation of technology into their classrooms."

The workshop will begin at 1 p.m. at Sacred Heart. Case said the project "will improve the mathematics course and give teachers another tool for classroom use."

For further information about the program, contact Dr. Case at or Ms. Johnson at

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