The USBE Assessment Department recently announced a change in the calculators that will be provided on SAGE this year. Here is the official word from USBE:
Grade 3-5: No built in calculator. No handheld allowed.
Grade 6: Desmos 10-key calculator built in. No handheld allowed. Note: This test has both a calculator and a non-calculator section.
Grade 7-8: Desmos scientific calculator built in. Handheld allowed as long as the device cannot communicate wirelessly and it was used during instruction.
Secondary Math 1-3: Desmos graphing calculator built in. Handheld allowed as long as the device cannot communicate wirelessly and it was used during instruction.
Have you ever used the Desmos graphing calculator? Have your students ever used it? Do you have the free Desmos graphing calculator app on your phone? Do your students have it? It's the best! I strongly encourage you to spend some time exploring Desmos. Where should you start? Go to learn.desmos.com and start exploring. I use Desmos regularly with both my 8th and 9th grade students and especially love the free and carefully crafted lessons available at teacher.desmos.com. One of my students' favorites is Marbleslides (pictured below). I dare you to click on that link and spend less than ten minutes playing with the marbleslides.
After learning about how math teacher Julie Reulbach incorporates Desmos Activity Builder into her formal exams/tests, I have also created an exam for my students on Activity Builder. I have previously blogged about the line art projects in which my students use Desmos to create line art by writing linear equations with domain/range restrictions.
Desmos is such a fantastic and free tool. Don't let the SAGE test be your students' first introduction to Desmos. Please take the time to learn about it and start using it now. If you have any questions or would like some training for yourself or your school, please send me an email. I'm happy to do whatever I can to help you.
About the author: MaryAnn Moore (@1mooreorless) is the editor and lead writer of the UCTM blog. She teaches 8th and 9th grade math in Davis School District. When not teaching, MaryAnn enjoys playing violin, Crossfit, cooking and traveling. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.