Thursday, February 26, 2015

Unit 1: Parent Functions

The first unit in my Math III (sort of Algebra 2) Honors course is Parent Functions.

1st Day we do the usual type of things and I start off with my favorite problem ever. Hopefully blog post to come on that one.

Day 2 we start right in with content on parent functions. I start them doing the sort from Jonathan Claydon (@rawrdimus) found here printed 2/pg. I emphasize finding connections, using context clues, making a table, etc even though they haven't seen some of the functions before. Once there is consensus we glue it down on some construction paper:

HW that night is to do a sorting activity that goes on the right hand page found at the bottom of the page.

The next day we study transformations. I use the investigations from Jonathan again (great stuff!) found here. We come together to summarize and color-code our transformations with different functions. Once again I print the matching cards 2 per page and this is their HW that night. The next day we did some typical transformations worksheets because most of them were on a field trip. Warmup the first day back we do the half sheet on the right hand page to talk about writing equations. 

Next up we have a brief intro into notation. Here I am indebted to Sarah Hagan at and use here notes on notation - although I handwrote the instructions in to save copying down time. Followed by some practice on notation on the right hand page. 

From that we move into domain and range. Basically you just need to read Sarah's post here and scroll to the domain and range part. I had great success with this method. We do the sheet on the left hand page together and then I send them off working on the cards. I cut them out and formatted so they would fit on 3 pages and students cut them out the night before.

The only other thing I added was I have a bunch of letter labels sitting around for activities that I hoard and never use - so I decided to use them for this. I've added the template at the bottom of the post. Basically it is from the Avery labels that print 30/pg. They have a problem number and D: and R: written. I like this because then they can 1) not have to flip back and forth to write their answers on the cards and 2) it makes it easier to check as a class. Once they've checked their answers they stick the label on the back and have domain and range flash cards =).

Here we go again with Sarah Hagan =). I was so excited to make this giant metafoldable of awesomeness by combining two of here foldables. I changed what the second one was for to suit my needs. Once we take the notes students glue it on the back of the first set of notes. The first foldable is found here and the second here. Of course it wouldn't be TypeAMathLand if there wasn't some hardcore Color with Purpose (CWP) abounding ;-)

Analogy I use:
Dolphin: Increasing/Decreasing/Constant is whether it is swimming up/down or straight. Positive/Negative is whether it is above the water or below. When students would get the two confused we would go back to the analogy. As cheesy as it is they had the most success with this the first time around I have seen.

After this rather long set of notes (I left off end behavior until the next class), they started some stations on identifying all the important parts of graphs that they finished the next day. If the scanner at school ever works I will load my copy. I basically cut up a traditional worksheet, enlarged the graph and put the same questions by each graph.

And that is my first unit

Link to my documents for the unit: click me =)


  1. I like the idea of a parent function unit at the beginning of the year, rather than introducing a new function each unit! I clicked on the link to the documents for the unit, but it did not work. Any chance of checking that link?