Functions are perhaps the most prevalent and important topic covered in secondary math, aside from maybe 1 variable linear equations. The concept of a mathematical function is challenging for many students. This post provides details about a meaning making approach to introducing functions.
The introduction is presented on a Google Jamboard, to allow for movement in the pairing of inputs and outputs. It starts with analogies pairing of items using a gumball machine and a Coke machine and proceeds incrementally towards the various representations. The functions are contrasted with examples of relationships that are not functions.
Slides of the Jamboard
- Slides1 and 2 present the gumball and Coke machines. Students can move the items to see how a quarter can result in 2 different color gumballs while the Coke button results in only 1 output.
- In slides 3 and 4, the use of an hourly wage introduces input and output with quantities. Slide 4 shows two different pay amounts for the same number of hours worked. This taps into prior knowledge.
- The sequencing progresses through
- function machines
- Each includes an example and a non-example.
- The last slide provides a sorting activity.
Access to Jamboard
Here is the link. To access the Jamboard, you need to make a copy.