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The Most Important Thing in Your Pencil Case, or Calculators Ain't Bad

I have a friend who's starting secondary school in September. Her mum sent me this:

I need your opinion on something. B is laughing at me because I said that choosing a new pencil case is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing about a new school year. I messaged my English dept, but she said they’re bound to agree and I needed to message a Maths teacher. Thoughts?

I responded with:

I nearly agree... THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is assembling your pencil case kit, which includes choosing a new pencil case, but you have to make sure the right kit is in there - non-exploding pens, for example. The stuff that goes inside is important because that will help to inform which pencil case is the right one. It might feel right for a moment, but if it doesn't fit what you need, or allow you to arrange it how you want to then it's not the right one.

Two calculators that have stood the test of time from my own school days. I've just noticed that the batteries haven't, though.
Two calculators that have stood the test of time from my own school days. I've just noticed that the batteries haven't, though.


I then listed my essential pencil case kit. That's not really what this post is about, but of course I have included it at the bottom for all and sundry to disagree with. 

The final thing on the list, THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to go in your pencil case, is a calculator.

And that's something I really do believe.

Calculators are not the enemy

Teaching to the Void

Following a conversation sparked by one of their training events GEM, the professional network for people interested in learning through museums and heritage, asked me to write a guest post loosely based upon (and an expansion of) the ideas in this post. It's here:

    Teaching to the Void at GEM.org.uk

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