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Function Machine

This virtual manipulative is designed to teach the concept of a function by allowing you to experiment with various functions. This animation helps students to understand the function concept through the "machine" metaphor. The domain elements (input) are dragged into the machine, which then goes through some (unseen) process and spits out the range element corresponding to the input. The results are then displayed in tabular form. Drag each number into the function machine and look for a pattern that will allow you to complete the table. You can experiement with functions right on the Internet or download a free trial desktop version.

Published by Utah State University in 1999-2009

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Curriculum Information For Resource

Snapshot
Grade Level(s):4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Curriculum Areas:Mathematics
Themes/Keywords: Algebra
Functions
Patterns


Vocabulary
functions, domain, integers, numeric, relationships


Essential Question(s)
1. What is the function concept?

Discussion Question(s)
1. How do you determine the patterns in a function?
2. Are there any symbolic rules in patterns?

Extension and Activities
1. Have students pair to discover the simple functional relationship of specific patterns.
2. Have each pair discuss different ways to verbalize the functional relationship, and perhaps to play with the idea of how far the domain might be extended.


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pictureSheridan Barker, Ed.D.
Director, Leadership Services
San Diego COE, CA






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