I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it (though I feel like I have) but every 8th grader in my school takes Algebra. This usually involves getting super creative with teaching them different ideas so they can grasp concepts they sometimes aren’t ready for. Recently, our Algebra kiddos took their state test. Of my 9 resource kiddos, 1 passed, 6 were in the retake zone, and 2 did not pass. (because Algebra is a high school credit and a requirement to graduate, if you miss passing by 1-5 questions you are allowed to retake). Anyway, knowing I had the majority of my kiddos in this zone, we spent a lot of time working on “the basics” and making them even stronger.
Conjunction Junction, what’s your …… function?!
One of the activities I did with my kiddos was converting a function between it’s various forms. First, I printed off Function Match-up on 6 different colored pages. There are 6 different forms shown in this activity, you can choose to use as few or as many as you want – I chose to use all 6.
Pink – Function Notation with Domain
Orange – Function Notation with Range
Yellow – Graphs of the Function
Green – Tables of the Function
Blue – Mappings of the Function
Purple – Domain and Range in Set Notation
I had the kiddos quickly cut out all 6 pages, shuffle and stack them with the correct color (by the way, the pages are set up to be answer keys, the corresponding parts on each page match each other, so keep an uncut version for yourself…. also, don’t let your kiddos realize this or else they will ‘stack’ their deck accordingly)
Once we were cut, shuffled, and stacked, I had the kiddos start out simple with two colors. Match the pink card to the orange card! Basically, substitute in the domains on the pink cards and get the ranges on the orange. After a little reminder, this was pretty simple for them.
Once students had matched the pink and orange correctly, I had them add in matching the green sort cards. The kiddos said this was super easy b/c they range cards basically matched the table set up.
The mapping cards were a little harder for the kiddos because they forgot to follow the arrows! Once we had a short conversation about how a mapping worked, they were golden and moved on.
And finally came Domain and Range in set notation, then graphing. (purple, then yellow).
The Domain and Range in set notation threw them off a bit because the numbers were listed in chronological order in the set versus the order they had been on the other cards, so they had to think a little more. Also, we had to have a conversation about how a function was an input and output that could be shown as a location on the graph. Once they were reminded of that, they easily plotted the yellow cards.
Here is a final look at what 8 sets looked like once a student finished.
Overall, we had some pretty awesome discussions about the fluidity of functions and how they can be represented in various ways. One aspect that I really like about this activity is all the numbers are very similar (Domain -1,0,1) (Range +-1, +-2, +-3, +-5) so they students really have to pay attention to the details. Often times when they were struggling with a match it was because they had dropped a negative unintentionally.
This was a really fun, and easy activity to do as a review with my kiddos. I’ve also used it when teaching functions at the beginning of the year. Then it is a bit more challenging for the kiddos, but leads to some great conversations. It can also be used very easily as a quick assessment of what your kiddos do and don’t know!
So, what do you think of this activity? Is this something you could use in your classroom? Leave me some thoughts and you could win you own copy of this activity to use in your classroom! Two winners will be selected on Sunday, June 16th!