FORCING STUDENTS TO THINK ABOUT FUNCTIONSWhere to begin teaching functions to Algebra 1 students?

I love the idea of teaching functions at the beginning of Algebra 1 and weaving them into the curriculum to cement the concept into the minds of my students. There are functions everywhere, and if we can teach kids to see them, it will go a long way to connect them to the math.  It is the perfect way to begin the year, connecting Algebra to their middle school years.

As I have begun the idea of creating a plan for next year, I have started with the scope and sequence created by the Mathematics Common Core Toolbox, and now I am searching for the best lesson plans I can find that will engage and develop an understanding of functions. There are some great sites that go beyond the repeated questions and algorithms and help students relate math to the real world and truly force understanding about what they are doing with the mathematics. (You can find more lessons on Functions in Unit 1 and Unit 7

What I want my students to learn in Unit 1 (Common Core Objectives or my Core Common Standards) 

  • Can they identify a function, do they understand the definition of a function
  • Can compare two functions, even if they are represented in different ways (i.e., table, graph, or situation)
  • Evaluate a function of a given variable
  • Create equations in two variables and graph
  • Give an appropriate domain for a function
  • Find inverse functions

Keep getting better (Never finished)I am looking forward to a great year, and the more I prepare and take the great ideas I find and organize them as I find them, the less likely I am going to be regretting finding that awesome lesson a week after I have taught it. I want to force my students to work harder than I do. I want them doing the work, processing, and thinking!

Please comment on this post. Do you have a great idea or lesson plan? Please share. I have compiled a great list of goals, activities, lesson plans, and assessments, organized by a unit at Algebra1Teachers.com. Less time creating, searching and organizing. More time teaching and interacting with kids! Isn't that what we are here for?

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