Sometimes, a paper and a pencil won’t be enough when you solve math problems. Several math tools might be a helping hand and will help you solve your math problems faster. There are even specific math problems that will require you to use a tool. Here, you’ll find 5 must-have math tools that will help you study math, especially if you’re still studying the subject at school.
5 must-have math tools for your math journey
A calculator is a math tool used to compute mathematical operations on numbers. There are two kinds of calculators that can help you: basic math calculator and scientific calculator. The basic calculators can only perform simple mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Basic calculators are perfect for solving simple equations with little steps. On the other hand, scientific calculators can compute more advanced mathematical formulas and operations. For example, you can calculate exponential operations, square roots, logarithms, trigonometric functions, and hyperbolic functions.
How to use: Simply input the numbers and formula to the calculator. For primary students, a basic calculator will do. But for more advanced math, a scientific calculator may come in handy when solving math problems since it offers a wider range of formulas.
Benefits: – Offers you accurate calculation so that you don’t need to worry about miscalculating anything – Saves you a lot of time, compared to manually counting – Don’t have any calculators at home? Online math tools are also available 24/7 and functions like a real calculator
A compass is a math tool that you use to draw circles. It is a ‘V’-shaped tool that holds a pencil on one side of the ‘V’ and a pointer on the other side. Sometimes, there is a built-in pencil for fancier compasses so you don’t need to attach a pencil to your compass. The distance between both sides are adjustable depending on the size of the circle that you want to draw. In math classes, it is very much preferable to use compasses when drawing a circle. It aids you in drawing perfect circles with precise radius in contrast to drawing it without a compass.
How to use: 1. Get your ruler ready. You need to decide how big your circle is going to be by adjusting the distance between your compass’ pointer and pencil. 2. After that, maintain the distance of both your pointer and pencil. If it moves, you’ll change the size of the circle and will have to redo measuring it. 3. Stick the pointer to your paper or book – it’s going to be the center of where you want your circle to be. 4. Turn the handle of the compass while letting the pencil draw the circle. 5. Finally, your circle is ready!
Benefits: – Makes your drawing circle so much easier – and so much more pleasing to see! – You can trace other arcs or circles – You can measure a circle’s radius by measuring the distance between two sides using a ruler
Ruler is a math tool used to measure length and also to draw straight lines or shapes. It comes in many variants with different materials and lengths. For instance, there are rulers made of plastic, wood, rubber, and even metal. The length of the ruler also varies, such as shorter ones like 10 centimeters to long rulers being as long as 30 centimeters.
How to use: 1. Measuring length: Place the ruler on top of the line that you want to measure. The distance between the starting point and ending point of the line is the length. 2. Drawing line or shape: Set the ruler on top of the paper. You can just draw according to the measurement of your liking. A see-through ruler (generally from plastic or rubber) might be more helpful when you want to draw shapes as it allows you to see underneath the ruler.
Benefits: – Measures length accurately – Allows your lines and shapes to be straight and precise
Protractor is another form of ruler, but this time it’s shaped like a half circle, or half a disc. It is angled from 0 to 180 degrees.
How to use: Firstly, place the protractor on top of the angle you want to measure. You will notice that there are inner and outer markings on the protractor. When you are using the left side of the protractor, you should be reading the angle from the outer marking. Vice versa, you should read the inner marking when you are using the right side.
Benefits: – Measures angles accurately – Helps you draw angles
5. Graph Book/Paper
Graph paper is a math tool that is versatile and can be used for many things. You can plot coordinates, make graphs, and even draw shapes. The grids on graph paper consist of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines that form boxes or cells. It also varies from paper to paper – some graph papers have thicker lines than another to guide you in doing specific tasks. Some also have differences in intervals or spacing of the lines. In math, usually it is used to make graphs.
How to use: 1. Determine the purpose of using graph paper. Is it for drawing graphs? Or shapes? 2. Know your measurements: How long do you want your lines to be? 3. Draw as needed. The lines on the graph paper will help you to draw straight lines and give exact measurement. 4. If you are drawing a graph, don’t forget to mark the units on the x-axis and y-axis.
Benefit: – Provides consistent measurements when you draw something – Guides you to be precise when drawing – Online graphing calculator is also available. It’s simple and easy to use. Just enter the formula and it will formulate the graph immediately for you.
These are some of the math tools that can complete your math learning process. Some of them are optional, while some are necessary. Now, you know what kind of math tools exist, their usage, and the benefits of using them. Having all of these tools will certainly make your math learning experience better.