Texas Instruments’ TI-15 Explorer calculator, created for students in grades 3-6, combines the utility of a calculator with a unique problem-solving tool. In the calculator’s problem solving mode, which provides enhanced problem solving abilities without immediately providing the answers, students can choose to let the calculator give them a problem, or they can enter their own. Students then figure out a solution, review the hints the calculator has provided to check their guess, then guess again. Students are given up to three hints before the calculator provides them with the solution. There are three levels of difficulty and four operations to choose from. Students also benefit from a two-line display, which lets them view the entire problem and answer at the same time, complete with operation symbols. The TI-15 also features a scrolling mechanism and previous entry key that lets students review past entries to look for patterns or errors. Results from division problems can be featured in three ways: as remainders, fractions, or decimals, depending on which is appropriate for the curriculum. A demonstration of the calculator and its functions can be found on the company’s web site.

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