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Title of Lesson: Using the calculator to solve

systems of equations with matrices


Will Griffith

Grade level:



Algebra II

Estimated length:

One Class Period

Standard(s) #

Judge meaning, utility, and reasonableness of findings in a variety of

situations, including those carried out by technology.

ISTE Student
Standard(s) #

Content Standard(s) Wording

ISTE Student Standard(s) Wording

Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions

Use verbs that are observable and measurable. Write as many as are appropriate (doesnt have to be 3)

The student will be able to store matrices in their calculator

The student will use stored matrices to find inverse matrices

The student will solve 12 problems with a system of equations and find the values that work for all


Students will already know how to solve a system of equations, what a matrix is,
what an inverse matrix and the determinant of a matrix is.
Tools & Supplies Needed

Software in the TI graphing calculator


Google forms
Worksheet 1


horizontal matrix
Matrix Outline


This is how I will describe
typing a matrix into a
calculator if there is not a
preset matrix outline.
A digital fill in the blank matrix
some calculators have that
make it much faster to fill in
your input
Storing your matrix in your
calculator for later use.

How will you assist students in the

acquisition of this academic language
(especially focused on ELL and other diverse
I am using these terms to describe different kinds
of input but I would be doing examples on the
board so it should be visually understandable for
students to see how it needs to be input.

Provide all information necessary for another teacher to replicate your lesson/unit.
Main Tasks/Activities

Instructor notes (detailed directions)

Include questions prompts you will ask the students

How many of you are tired of writing out matrices? Today we are going to use
matrices to solve a system of equations quickly and without writing anything
down. This is one of the times where using a calculator is very helpful and
allows us to save a lot of time. It is important that you wrote down the operations
before now so you are used to how matrices work and the outputs you expect to
do to get students attention
see. If you have a system of equations with a lot of equations and variables
and activate their prior
knowledge before teaching the matrices will allow you to solve it very quickly.

Part 1: Readiness
(aka motivator,
attention set,
engager) (what will you

main content of the lesson?)

(Short 5-10 minutes)

Explain the lesson and

why it is useful

I would ask questions about the relationship between how many equations you
have and how many variables you can solve for. (They need to be equal)

Part 2: Main Focus

of Lesson (what will you
do to engage students in the
main content of the lesson?
How will they work with the
language/etc, to learn the
standard and reach the
(the bulk of the lesson time)

Explain how to input a


How to store a matrix

How to find the inverse


How to find the


There are two ways to input a matrix into your calculator. Some of your
calculators will give you a matrix outline that will let you just fill in each slot. If
your calculator will not do that then you need to input the matrix in a horizontal
method where you need to use brackets [ ] for the whole matrix and then
additional brackets for each row. Between each number you need to use a
comma ,

To store a matrix in your calculator you need to either use the store function or
go into your matrix menu and pick one of them to start with. These will stay
stored until you override them or run out of batteries. Each matrix is represented
by a capital letter surrounded by brackets like [A]

To find an inverse matrix just put the matrix in and put it to the -1 power like
[A]^(-1) (This often can be done with just one button and the -1 will be an
exponent without the carrot symbol or the parentheses).

To find a determinant there is a built in function in the calculator.

Hand out the assignment

Do the first two

problems from the
assignment together

How do we solve this system of equations?

6x - 5y - 9z = 15
- 5x - 5y - 5z = 30
- 2x + 7y - 7z = 143
The quickest way is to use an inverse matrix. First we need to input our two

[A] = [[6,-5,-9][-5,-5,-5][-2,7,-7]] and [B] = [[15][30][143]]

Once these are stored we can type in the operation [A]^(-1)*[B] and this will give
us the [X] matrix. What do we expect the output to look like? (a vertical matrix
with one number in each row)
Our answer appears in matrix form and if we were to then use that answer as a
matrix input we would need to type it in horizontal matrix form like [[-5][9][10]]. This means x = -5, y = 9, and z = -10. Why are they in that order? (because
we wrote our equations in standard form so the variable that comes first is one
top and the one that comes last goes on the bottom) Another way to display this
answer is in point form (-5,9,-10)

Our second question is

2x - y + 6z = -58
7x - 7y + 8z = -94
So what does [A] equal? ( [[2, -1, 6][-1,-1,-1][7,-7,8]] ) What does [B] equal?
( [[-58][0][-94]] )

And what is our [X] matrix? ( [[4][6][-10]] ) and if we wrote this in point form it
would look like (4,6,-10)

Let students do the rest

of the assignment while
walking around and
checking on them.

You are now going to work on the rest of these problems and you are going to
input your answers into google forms. These answers need to look like this
written exactly in the same way. Part of this assignment is getting used to the
nitpicky way the calculator and computer may want these answers.

1) [[-5][9][-10]], (-5,9,-10)
2) [[4][6][-10]], (4,6,-10)

Part 3: Closure (what

will you do to bring the lesson
to a close and summarize the
important points of the

(short 5 minutes)

So which way would you rather solve a system of equations? (matrices). When
you are only solving for 2 variables and sometimes even 3 it may not be much
faster to use matrices but if you have any more than 3 variables it is probably not
worth your time to do that by hand. The chances of you making a mistake during
all that work are higher than miss typing into your calculator. How do we check
if our answer is correct? (Plug it into the equations if not all at least two).

Accommodations and/or Modifications for Differentiated Learning

How will you make the lesson accessible to all your students? How will you support the ELLs in your class?

How will you support other special populations? How will you challenge those that need it?

Blind or visually impaired

I think matrices could be hard for someone who cannot see and I do not know
that verbally talking about them would be best. It might be a good idea to come
up with some way to have them feel how the matrix is set up and works with
some kind of physical object like blocks. If I was going to do this, I would have
been doing it all alone for the whole chapter.

Gifted Student:

If I had students done very quickly I would give them some questions with more
variables or I might have them solve a system of equations using Cramers rule
(from earlier in the chapter) in the calculator rather than by hand. I could also
give them some questions that have no solution or have infinitely many

Assessment Procedures
How will you know if the students met the objectives/standards? How will you measure their progress and
level of understanding?

For this lesson we will do the first two questions together. I will ask questions during
the lecture. After that they will be free to work on their homework and ask questions
while I am walking around the room and observing what they are doing.


Students will submit answers in google forms. This allows not only grading that they
typed the information into their calculator correctly but also that they can type the
answer in the same kind of format. Google forms can check if an answer is correct but
only if it is typed in absolutely correctly.


Supplemental Materials:


This is the questions I created and then I sent myself the response form. The numbers got out of sync and I am
not exactly sure why. The numbers correspond to the questions on the hand out.