## Reflection: Real World Applications Inverse Functions - Section 2: Why Do We Use Functions? What Are Inverse Functions?

One of my biggest realizations as I have matured as a teacher is the fact that students tend to grasp mathematical concepts at a deeper level when presented in context.   Traditionally, real-life problems come after a skill is gained and are used to practice that skill.  Reinforced in the “traditional” text books that were used in my school, this is how I first used these types of tasks and problems.  The good news is that I have never been a follower and began experimenting with other uses for problems in context.  One major discovery was the fact that students, particularly those that struggle with math, tend to grasp concepts more quickly in relation to something in real life.

These notes are a good example of this idea.  Students always seem to forget inverse functions and/or understand them only at the switch x and y level.  When presented through a simple modeling problem, the concept became much richer as seen in these Student Notes.  My students could describe both a function and its inverse in relationship to each other.   This idea also stayed with them longer than I have seen it stay when just presented with the “traditional” approach.

Real World Applications: The Power of a Real-Life Model

# Inverse Functions

Unit 2: Modeling with Functions
Lesson 6 of 24

## Big Idea: Extend beyond the skill of finding an inverse function to understanding their purpose through real life scenarios.

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Subject(s):
Math, inverse functions, Algebra, Algebra 2, master teacher project
50 minutes

### Amelia Jamison

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