Tuesday, August 9, 2016

#MTBoSBlaugust: Parent Function Activities

Reviewing functions is often the first unit in Algebra 2 and/or Pre-Cal.  In Algebra 2 course, we discussed all the parent functions before delving into each one in detail.  It helped to set up the year, gave us opportunity to review key concepts about functions and to teach notation.

Here are a collection of activities from past years ...

1) I Notice/I Wonder

I borrowed from G. Waddell's first of the year activity to get students thinking about the various functions.  I described my work here.

2) Parent Function Booklet is a tool students can use all year.  

Students create a page about each function, create a cover, and staple it together.

3) Odd One Out 

It is a "which one doesn't belong" activity that has multiple possible solutions.  It's a great way to get students discussing key attributes of functions.

4) Parent Function Analysis promotes math discourse.  

Students have 10 statements that may describe one or more parent functions.  They identify which functions each statement describes.

5) Synthesis Questions

  1. Order the parent functions we are studying from least to greatest by the rate at which f(x) increases as x increases for x > 1.  Explain your thoughts.
  2. Use the set of points {(-1,-1), (0,0), (1, 1)} to answer each question.
    1. What parent function best describes the set of points?
    2. If the points (-2,8) and (2, 8) were added, what parent function would best describe the set?
    3. If the point (1, 1) were replaced with (1, -1) what parent function would best describe the set?
    4. If the point (-1, -1) were replaced with (4, 2) what parent function would best describe the set?
    5. Select 1 or 2 points to change or to add to create a different function than those already described.  Explain your selection and the parent function that would best describe the set.
  3. Create “Who Am I” Riddles for 5 of the parent functions.  For each riddle use 4 to 6 clues.  Here is an example:  My graph is continuous.  My graph has an intercept at (0,0).  My domain is the set of all nonnegative real numbers.  My range is the set of all nonnegative real numbers.  The shape of my graph is sometimes referred to as an eyebrow.  What parent function am I?

 6)  Making Connections is about connecting concepts using vocabulary.

Do you have parent function activities (or families of functions)?  Share your link in the comments!

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