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TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator Review

TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator Review

The Ti-84 Plus is the perfect entry level graphing calculator for high school and freshman college students. It is easy to use, with all common buttons and functions easy to find and understand. Unlike some more advanced models made by Texas Instruments (TI-89, I’m looking at you!) the Ti-84 Plus is a bit more forgiving in its use of syntax in terms of when brackets need to be placed. For high school students taking upper-level trigonometry, switching between radians and degrees is done easily through the mode menu. Similarly, converting between fractions and decimals is a breeze using the convenient Math menu button.

This calculator does everything you would possibly need for a high school algebra or pre-calculus class. Its functions as a simple scientific calculator are second-to-none, with its intuitive design allowing for students not used to graphing calculators to easily learn how to make use of the new tools available in this powerful calculator. Once you become accustomed to the calculator’s regular scientific functions, you will be ready to explore its excellent graphing capabilities.

Students are often mesmerized the first time they use a graphing calculator. They are shocked by the fact that with a simple input of an equation, they can see a visualization of their function in a matter of seconds. This capability is especially powerful for students who are studying non-linear functions such as quadratics and their related parabolas for the first time. It becomes essential to answering questions in finding roots (also known as zeros or x-intercepts), the maximum or minimum value of a function, and of course the vertex of the parabola.

The Ti-84 makes it easy to graph a function and then by using the Trace and Calc Menu buttons, analyze the function. Finding values such as the vertex could not be easier, and the clear display makes it easy to understand how the algebra of the mathematics relates to the graphical output. To get an even better sense of the function’s behaviour, the Table menu will allow you to view a table of values of the x and y coordinate pairs. This allows for the quick identification of both x and y intercepts.