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Calculation Aids

Alternate method of computation for a student who is unable to effectively use paper-and-pencil methods.

 

Allowable on at least one state assessment Allowable on state assessment: This accommodation is allowable on at least one state assessment. See which tests allow this accommodation

Assistive Technology Assistive Technology (AT): This accommodation includes AT. Be sure AT needs are included as accommodations on the IEP and that the PEIMS code reflects this.

Examples Include:

  • Four-function calculators perform only basic math functions, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

  • Scientific calculators help the student perform more complex math and science functions involving random numbers, permutation, trigonometric values, statistics, exponents, pi, unit conversions, square roots, and antilog.

  • Graphing calculators enable students to plot graphs, solve simultaneous equations, and perform other tasks involving variables.

  • Large-key calculators provide large buttons or voice capabilities to assist students with a visual impairment in solving math problems.

  • Abacuses and Cranmer modified abacuses provide a visual representation of numbers that students can use to assist in counting.

  • Audio-graphing calculators provide the functionality of graphing calculators with audio controls that make them usable by students with a visual impairment.

  • Speech-output calculators typically feature larger displays and audio output capabilities to help students with low vision solve problems.

  • 0-9 Addition grids list the numbers 0-9 along the vertical and horizontal axes, and the sum of two numbers where they intersect on the chart.


  • Multiplication grids work in the same way as addition grids, but with the product of two numbers listed where they intersect. 

  • Calculator apps are available for iOS and Android platforms. Calculator apps range from basic four-function to graphing and scientific calculators. Many calculator apps offer additional features that aren’t available with a traditional hand held calculator, such as turning handwritten equations into digital text or voice input.

How to Implement:

  • 1.

    Identify the appropriate calculation aid according to the student’s need and the instructional task to be completed. 

    Identify the appropriate calculation aid according to the student’s need and the instructional task to be completed. 

  • 2.

    Collaborate with an assistive technology specialist if the student will be using a calculator application or other tech tools. 

    Collaborate with an assistive technology specialist if the student will be using a calculator application or other tech tools. 

  • 3.

    Teach the student how to use the calculation aid through modeling and think alouds. Use clear expectations to show the student how to use it

    Teach the student how to use the calculation aid through modeling and think alouds. Use clear expectations to show the student how to use it appropriately in a variety of situations and environments. 

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  • 4.

    Lead guided practice and provide authentic opportunities for independent practice with the calculation aid. 

    Lead guided practice and provide authentic opportunities for independent practice with the calculation aid. 

  • 5.

    Monitor and record the student’s progress and the effectiveness of the calculation aid.

    Monitor and record the student’s progress and the effectiveness of the calculation aid.

  • 6.

    Provide feedback to the student. Feedback should be specific and include positive praise for correct use and corrective feedback for inappropriate use. 

    Provide feedback to the student. Feedback should be specific and include positive praise for correct use and corrective feedback for inappropriate use. 

  • 7.

    Share progress and effectiveness with the student, the educational team, and the family.

    Share progress and effectiveness with the student, the educational team, and the family.

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Note: Review policy document for allowable use of Calculation Aids during test administration.


State Assessment
Allowability

Some accommodations appropriate for instructional use may not be allowable on a statewide assessment. Select the state assessment to view the implementation policies.

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Type: Designated Support 

Assessments: Grade 3-7 Math, grade 5 Science

Calculators are required for the following STAAR assessments: grade 8 mathematics, grade 8 science, Algebra I, Algebra II, and biology. See TEA's Calculator Policy for more information. 

Student Eligibility Criteria:

  • Receives Special Education or 504 services

  • Meets at least one of the following for the applicable grade:

    • Grades 3 & 4 physical disability that prevents him or her from independently writing the number required for computations and cannot effectively use other allowable materials to address this need (e.g., whiteboard, graph paper) 

    •  visual impairment that prevents him or her from seeing the numbers they have written during computations and cannot effectively use other allowable materials to address this need (e.g., magnifier)

    • Grades 5 – 7 physical disability that prevents him or her from independently writing the number required for computations and cannot effectively use other allowable materials to address this need (e.g., whiteboard, graph paper) 

    •  visual impairment that prevents him or her from seeing the numbers they have written during computations and cannot effectively use other allowable materials to address this need (e.g., magnifier)

    • disability that effects mathematics calculations, even after intensive instruction and remediation the student is consistently unable to memorize basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts or perform the steps in an algorithm correctly when solving problems 

same as STAAR

Type: Designated Support (formerly Type 1)

Assessments: grades 3-5 mathematics and grades 5 science

Student Eligibility Criteria: Same as STAAR


See STAAR ALT 2 for use of calculator to arrive at response