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Maths: How To Choose Your Basic Equipment?

By Yann, published on 28/02/2019 We Love Prof > Academia > Maths > The Best Tips For Buying Maths Equipment

The back to a school shopping list is a long one, especially with the ever-growing number of subjects in the education program. This curriculum development has meant that now not only do you have to provide the basic school supply list for students. But you also have to add to this special equipment for classes like arts crafts (art supplies like a sketchbook, coloured pencils, paints, an easel and crayons) or get costumes for a role play or active play in the school theatre.

The school math curriculum alone requires a large number of back to school supplies. School shopping for a mathematics course alone can include a scientific calculator (depending on the grade level for lower grade a basic calculator is fine), textbooks, post it, paper clips, a binder, rulers, markers, highlighters, sharpeners, an eraser not to mention the basics like pens and pencils. This excludes any real modern conveniences and high ticket items.

Despite how long the school supplies list happens to be. It is the parent’s job to guide their children and provide them with all of the tools which create the opportunity to perform at their best. It is the child’s job to take that opportunity and those tools and turn them into success. Student achievement provides a flash opening to better privileges, university placements, higher paid jobs and happier life overall. Knowing you have done your best and had the opportunity to demonstrate that it is a rewarding feeling that is hard to beat.

So while the ever-growing school supply list could be fast multiplying into school supply lists. Lack of study/office supplies should not stand in the way of Student learning, and it should not be the thing to disrupt the learning environment. For example to try to find or borrow equipment in the middle of classroom activities.

For students, mathematics courses can be a challenge, times tables, counting, dividing, multiplying, calculus, fractions, algebra, addition and subtraction are just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to maths courses and student development.

Looking at high school math, let’s consider which equipment is needed to excel on the course.

What Is The Essential Maths Equipment Needed For The Maths Classroom

If you are heading back to school or sending your child back to school, it can be daunting to know what to buy for your child. The good thing is that if you ask your math teacher, they will be able to give you either a math worksheet with the lesson plans for the coming year so that you can research the equipment required. Or if they are more organised, they will provide you with a math class supply list.

You don’t have to wait to ask for this list, as a core subject, the math curriculum doesn’t change much. So teachers will be able to advise you on what will be useful for your entire high school or college attendance. However, if you prefer to go year by year, you can ask teachers at school open evenings, parents meetings, write notes to the teacher or arrange an end of year meeting with the teachers you would like to talk to.

If you have missed the opportunity to speak to the educators at school or don’t have the time for that, however, then the below list will be very useful to get you started.

mathematics courses can be a challenge The back to a school shopping list is a long one. Photo Source: Unsplash

Maths Equipment For School


It may surprise you to find out that there are many types of calculators in the market. Each different kind of calculator is meant for a different job. The simple calculator in kindergarten may be the same as the one used in primary school, but it most certainly will change when you get to high school, college and university.

While you can do the more complex calculations on a basic calculator, it really serves you well to invest in a calculator that will meet your needs. The whole point of a calculator, after all, is to help you with mathematics.

  1. Simple Calculator – This is the Primary school level calculator which specialises in subtraction, addition, multiplication and division.
  2. Scientific Calculator – The scientific calculator can do everything that the simple calculator can do. It is also able to perform much more complex equations and calculations. You can perform calculations like Pre-AlgebraAlgebra, PrecalculusCalculus, Geometric, Fractions, Equations, Algebraic, Competency, Trigonometry, exponents and logarithms. This is a high school to university level calculator. This is the most useful calculator and the one that makes the best investment for a math student
  3. Graphing Calculator – The Graphing calculator can do everything that the simple calculator (like Pre-Algebra and Precalculus) and the scientific calculator can do (like GeometryTrigonometry and algebraic calculations). It also has the added function of being able to perform calculations of integral calculus and matrices. And when you type something in to be calculated you will see a graph of it in the graphing calculator screen. This is a calculator for college and university level students.

those tools and turn them into success. guide their children and provide them with all of the tools which create the opportunity to perform at their best. Photo Source: Unsplash

Geometric Measuring Tools

Geometry is a type of maths that works out the areas and diameters of 2-D shapes and figures as well as points, lines and angles.

The four important tools of geometry

  1. Ruler – A ruler is a tool that we all know and love because despite its simplicity we can not live without it if we want to draw straight lines. It also is used to measure distances. One with 12 inches and 30 cm will be fine for any math class no matter what grade level the student is in.
  2. Compass – This a tool used to draw circles or arcs of circles. It is a metal tool set in a v shape that has a point on one tip and a hole to hold a pencil on the other.
  3. Protractor – Not too dissimilar to the ruler except this is set in a semi-circular shape with measurements of angles from 0 to 180 degrees. When you lay, the protector on the angle that you want to measure you will be able to easily work out the degrees.


Whether for maths or other classes, while you are studying, you are going to need some paper. In maths, you will use this for class notes, calculations and general study.

  1. Rough Note Paper – This paper can be from recycled paper found on paper bags, draft paper, receipts, the back off printed throwaways, or you can buy it. The Post it is a fancy version of this kind of paper.
  2. Graph Paper – This paper as it sounds is made up of lines that cross to create small squares it is often used in maths as it makes it easier to write out equations, draw graphs and design charts.


Now that you have all of your maths kits don’t forget to buy something to carry it in.

  1. A pencil case – The pencil case allows you to carry everything you need and doesn’t take up too much space on your desk. A great way to organise your kit since you will have lots of different classes. Is to have a general pencil case with your basic stationery in it, then have class specific pencil cases that have the tools for your specific courses.
  2. backpacks – The backpack is another great tool for organising yourself for school. Buy one that has enough space for all of your books and other stuff. Buy a smaller bag for your gym kit if you have gym classes. As dirty trainers will tear and mess up homework and coursework in your main rucksack. It is advisable to have separate bags. If you do swimming or art too. As wet paint and a damp swimming costume will ruin anything in your backpack.

you are heading back to school and need supplies Essential Maths Equipment Needed For The Maths Classroom. Photo Source: Unsplash

Other Basic stationery

  • Pens – gel pens are my favourite as they give a smooth writing experience. They also have a padded finger area. But pens are a personal choice.
  • Pencils – this is very important as it is better to use pencils over pens in math as you will likely need to erase things lot as you update your work.
  • Eraser – as mentioned above they need to keep work up to date and correct pencil mark mistakes. (liquid erasers like tipex are also useful for mistakes made with pens.)
  • Highlighters / coloured pencils – help to highlight your work and create easy to read sections. You can also use different coloured pens for this reason.
  • Notebook, planner – Notebooks are essential for taking notes in class and for your own thoughts on the course and the work. Planners, however, are great for planning out your workload, homework, and your time table.

Being a student is hard work, even the math equipment you have to invest in is a long list. However, the reality is that while the tools are useful, it is really you that brings success to your student life. However, you approach this part of your life to remember that learning is a lifelong journey.

If you are looking for back to school kit ideas for young kids, check out the math supplies for kids blog!


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