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Activity Workbook for HP 39gs and 40gs

This workbook provides an introduction to the use of a Graphing Calculator in the Upper Secondary Mathematics Classroom with the HP 39gs (HP 40gs) Graphing Calculator. The aim was to illustrate the potential of HP Graphing Calculator as a learning tool. A Graphing Calculator can be used for several purposes. It can, of course, carry out all the routine calculations that can be carried out on a standard scientific calculator. However its real strength of HP 39gs lies in its ability to carry out symbolic calculations, to manage tables of values and to plot graphs. This graphical facility can be used not merely to obtain approximations but also to interpret data and to illustrate concepts. It is these aspects of the Graphing Calculator on which we shall concentrate.

Here is how the text and keys are represented:

  • Digits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, dot and alpha are indicated by writing the number in bold type. For example, pressing the 8 key is indicated by 8. Furthermore, any number given in decimal format is indicated in this way also. For example 3.4 entails pressing the sequence of keys 3.4. The alphabetic keys are accessed by pressing the [ALPHA] key followedby the key next to which the relevant letter is printed in brown. Forexample obtaining the letter K is indicated by [ALPHA] K. For a stringof letters hold the ALPHA key down while typing the letter string.The corresponding lower case alphabetic letters are accessed bypreceding the [ALPHA] key by the [SHIFT] key. For example obtaining theletter k is indicated by [SHIFT][ALHPA] K.
  • Keystroke that requires to simply press one of the calculatorkeys is written between the square brackets. For example, pressing the HOME key is indicated by [HOME].
  • Any key that needs to be accessed by first pressing the SHIFT key is indicated by a double rectangle followed by the relevant key description close with another double square brackets. For example, pressing the MATRIX key is indicated by [[MATRIX]]. Note that the SHIFT key can be cancelled by pressing it again.
  • The six blank black keys immediately below the calculator screen are menu keys whose function depends on the particular calculator operation being undertaken. Their meaning at any time is given on the screen itself. The pressing of a specific menu key will be indicated by describing its choice at the time enclosed within double curly brackets {{RESET}}. When a particular calculator option on the screen is to be highlighted, this will be described by Select followed by the relevant option. Often one needs to use the cursor keys to actually move to this option.

Quite often in practice a keystroke sequence can be considerably shortened. For instance, it is not uncommon for a final bracket to be able to be omitted. In this workbook, however, we shall give the full keystrokes for completeness.

Each section of this workbook is meant to be able to be read independently. However, within each section it may be the case that the examples are interrelated.

Updated On: 09.11.08

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