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Broken Calculator

In the 1980's, Sunburst Communications published the software What do You Do With a Broken Calculator. Its premise: Simulate the functions of a calculator that have been disabled in some way.

For example, if the 8-key on your calculator did not work...could you calculate 23485 x 81=? Many techniques are available, depending on your creativity and willingness to play "the game." One response is (23475 + 10) x 9 x 9 = ?

I remember having more fun with the program than my students... Perhaps it was the inaneness of the situation. If the 8-key did not work on a calculator, would you keep using it? What if division always produced an incorrect answer (i.e. random)?

Let's move now to the current year. Suppose your graphing calculator was broken. For example, when a function is graphed, nothing ever appears in Quadrant One. Could you develop a picture of the desired graph via horizontal or vertical shifts?

Many other interesting examples of "brokeness" could follow...making students begin to think TI stands for "That's Impossible"!