Reflection: Staircase of Complexity Sketchbook - Section 2: Put It Into Action


For my students this activity was much more challenging and complex than I'd anticipated, in part because they have limited experience with "story problems". I expected a few to struggle with transforming the words into a graph and was ready to ask leading questions like "What values would be represented by x?" and "Can you write an equation or make a table to help you create your graph?".  What I didn't expect was that none of the students were able to move through all the problems successfully.  After helping almost every student with at least one or two problems and helping all of them with problem #2, I finally called the class back for whole-class instruction and we worked through the last three problems collectively.  I found that my students were struggling with making sense of the problems more than anything else because when we reworded problem 8 and I drew a diagram almost everyone could graph it.  It was surprising how few strategies for problem-solving they had but hopefully we've added a few today, including drawing a diagram or picture and getting clarification for words you don't understand!

  Words to models
  Staircase of Complexity: Words to models
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Unit 8: Interpreting Functions
Lesson 3 of 19

Objective: SWBAT sketch graphs showing the key features of a function.

Big Idea: Let your artists shine as they sketch graphs showing key features of functions.

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Math, algebraic function, Algebra, Function Operations and Inverses, Algebra II, master teacher project, 11th Grade
  50 minutes
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