Functions can be fun!

Vyckye Cox
Missouri City Middle School
Math and Algebra I, Eighth Grade

### Topic: Linear Functions

Purpose: To engage students in linear function activities. Students will work in collaborative groups to set up the situation given in their center and share responsibilities for completing their task.

Materials:

• Center 1: miniature cars, a wooden board to be used as a ramp, a timing device(a stopwatch, calculator with timing program,or a watch with a second hand)and 8 blocks
• Center 2: a pvc pipe, marbles, a ruler with cm measurements, and 5 blocks

Prior knowledge:Measurement and Graphing

Description: Teachers will set up two areas for each group(i.e. 2 areas for center1 and center2)and assign students to groups. Students will be given directions on how to move from center to center. After each group completes their center activities, their should be an area for debriefing. It might be helpful to have an additional center for debriefing.

• For center 1, students will:
• Collect data by rolling a car down a ramp from heights of 1, 2, 3, 4,5,6,7, and 8 blocks.
• Release the car from the top edge of the ramp.
• Measure the time (in seconds) that the car travels.
• Record the height of the ramp and the time the car travels.
• Graph the data and describe the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
• In center 2, students will:
• Roll a marble through a PVC pipe from heights of 1,2,3,4, and 5 blocks.
• Release the marble at the edge of the pipe.
• Meassure the distance(in cm) that the marble travels once it leaves the end of the pipe.
• Record the height of the pipe and the distance the marble travels.
• Graph the data and describe the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
Time: 45-90 minutes

Procedure:Students will navigate from center to center. In each center, students will follow the directions given. The directions above should be placed in each center for students to follow.

URLs pertaining to the lesson:

Directions: Students will be informed that today they are working in groups. Remind them of the group working rules. Give each student in the group a special assignment(i.e project coordinator who reads the directions and oversees the project, data collector to record the data as it is collected, materials manager to collect all materials as needed and organize the materials in the center, a communicator to relay any information from group to the teacher or from teacher to the group, a support coordinator who will offer support to the group to keep them going as their energy levels lower,and a technology specialist who will input the data into the calculator). Students may use pencil and paper to collect their data and then  input it into the calculator.

Questions: Compare the two graphs after you have completed the two activities. What observations can you make about the graphs? What kind of graphs are they? Are they functions? How would you defend your reasoning?
Determine the equation of the data. What in the equation let you know what kind of graph you would have?

Extension:

Gender Issues: Since students are working in groups, it is important that the teacher check to make sure that all students are working cooperatively and have a specific role in the group.

Special thanks to:  Rice GirlTech and Teacher Tech 2001

Reference: The activities were taken from the Algebra Institute