• Graphing Calculator Recommendation - AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC
    The Verona Math Department has been using the TI-Nspire calculator in AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC since the 2009-2010 school year. We are recommending that students purchase their own calculators.  These calculators can be purchased at online retailers such as:
    Note that, because these calculators are generally marketed to college students taking Calculus, they are not available in "brick-and-mortar" stores such as Staples, Target, Best Buy, or WalMart.  If you prefer to purchase one at a physical store, your best bet is a college bookstore.  Be sure the calculator you purchase is the TI-Nspire CX CAS Handheld.  We use the "CAS" version of the TI-Nspire calculator because it includes important features required for AP Calculus.  If you buy a calculator which does not have the letters "CAS" on the front of it, you have bought the wrong calculator for AP Calculus.
    The TI-Nspire was chosen due to its versatility and applicability to all math and science subjects. Thus, students may this calculator for all concurrent and subsequent math and science courses, including Physics, Chemistry, and Statistics. The TI-Nspire CX CAS calculator is permitted for use on national assessments, including the PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP Exams. We encourage each student to own his or her own personal calculator due to the following benefits:
    • With a personal calculator, your child will be able to continue exploring concepts after class, at his or her own pace, and to complete and check homework utilizing the methods taught in class.
    • The purchase of a TI-Nspire calculator includes the TI-Nspire Student Software, a software-based version of your calculator which runs on both PC and Mac computers.    While your calculator is portable, so your child can have it available anytime, anywhere he or she needs it, the TI-Nspire Student Software provides the same capabilities on a home computer which a student may use to complete school work. 
    • TI-Nspire calculators are upgradeable, providing long-term value and extending your investment over all of your child's mathematics courses in high school and college.
    • Many standardized and college admissions tests approve the use of calculators, including most TI graphing calculators. In fact, several college placement tests require the use of a graphing calculator.

    Verona Public Schools provides a comprehensive and rigorous mathematics program in which all students meet and many students exceed the standards set by the State of New Jersey. A balanced program consists of sound teaching practices that incorporate technology effectively, an essential ingredient in the 21st century classroom. We believe calculator use is an integral component of any instructional math program yet it does not replace the need to learn basic facts, perform mental computation, and develop conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. These tools give students a way to explore ideas and visualize concepts in greater depth than would otherwise be possible. Used appropriately, graphing technology can help lead to better comprehension of concepts and their real-world applications.

    Frequently Asked Questions on TI-Nspire Calculators and Technology
    What comes in the box?
    • the calculator
    • a protective slide case
    • disk to install TI-Nspire Student Software ,  a full-featured software version of the calculator on your PC or Mac
    • USB cable to be used to upgrade your TI-Nspire calculator, or to use sync math work, notes, and other data between your computer and your calculator using the TI-Nspire Computer Link Software, a free download
    • a calculator-to-calculator cable to sync data between calculators
    What does "CAS" mean?
    "CAS" stands for "Computer Algebra System".  Simply put, CAS calculators know "how to do" Algebra and Calculus, while non-CAS calculators do not.  Concepts taught in AP Calculus build upon and synthesize the prerequisite concepts taught in Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry.  Many calculus problems contain subproblems involving Algebra, Geometry or Trigonometry.  These must be solved quickly and accurately as part of the solution of a calculus problem.  Using a calculator with a Computer Algebra System helps us keep the focus of learning on Calculus, freeing students from some of the pencil-and-paper mechanics of those subproblems, while still requiring students to demonstrate conceptual knowledge of prerequisite subjects. 
    Do AP Calculus students need a CAS calculator for the AP Exam?
    Yes, the AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC exams are structured as follows:
    • 28 multiple choice questions - 55 minutes - no calculator allowed
    • 17 multiple choice questions - 50 minutes - CAS calculator allowed
    • 2 free response questions - 30 minutes - CAS calculator allowed
    • 4 free response questions - 60 minutes - no calculator allowed
    How can I be sure that I have the "right" TI-Nspire calculator for my AP Calculus class?
    Above the viewscreen, your calculator should have the word "CAS" in the label.  Your calculator should look like any of these TI-Nspire CAS calculators.
    What should I do when I receive my calculator?
    See the following documents:
    Can I buy a TI-Nspire CX CAS calculuator at Staples, Walmart, Office Depot, Target or other local retailer?
    No, the "CAS" version of this calculator is not carried "in-store" by the major big-box retailers. However, the "CAS" version is carried by college bookstores and major online retailers such as Amazon and WalMart.
    Can I buy the TI-Nspire CAS iPad App instead of a calculator?
    The iTunes store does have an app called TI-Nspire CAS App For iPad (requires iOS7.0 or later) which can be bought for $29.99 at the iTunes Store. The app includes all of the functionality of the Nspire handheld calculator.  It is similar to the PC/Mac software which is included with a handheld calculator purchase.  Although this app serves as a nice supplement to the handheld calculator, it cannot yet replace a handheld calculator.  The standardized tests, such as the PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP exams do not permit use of tablets such as the iPad during the exam.  In addition, the handheld calculator, when compared to a tablet, is better suited for the durability and the ergonomic requirements of in-classroom use and in-backpack carriage.
Last Modified on July 15, 2016