Here are two graphing calculator versions of the Algebra 4 All Shapes of Algebra project.

Rather than make posters I have the students work in groups and discover the graphs using the graphing calculator.

The goal for the 1st lesson is to become familiar with entering equations and seeing the graphs.  I have the students work in groups of 4, each one entering one of the functions into their calculator.  The are then to discuss what they see, make a sketch and summarize their findings.  I have to model with them a sample problem, otherwise I have found that they work in parallell form, dividing the work and not having the important discussions.

After they have completed the shapes of Algebra exploration I have them work in groups of 3 with the same idea with the Shapes of Algebra #2, tables & graphs activity.  Each member enters one of the graphs.  This time I want them to learn how to use the table feature on the calculator,  I do not have them plot the points to graph since I have found the activity to become too long and tedious for the students.  The point is to focus on the shape associated with each family and look for connections in the tables.

After the Shapes of Algebra #2, tables and graphs, I have each group make a poster of one of the function families.  I use the posters all year as we study each of the function families in more detail.

Every time I use the activities I make some changes in the questions.  My goal is for the students to learn to work together, improve their math communication skills and to understand the big ideas.

Tags: equation, function_families, graph, graphing_calculator, heinrich, poster, shapes_of_algebra, table

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