Reflection: Checks for Understanding Spending & Saving, and Function Notation - Section 3: Spending & Saving, Part 1b

The first Student Learning Target (SLT) of Unit 4 is:

SLT 4.1: I can distinguish between situations that can be modeled with linear functions and with exponential functions. (This is F-LE.1 in the CCSS.)

I've given students a few opportunities to show me what they know on paper, and many have already demonstrated mastery.  It's a pretty binary learning target, in that you can either distinguish between the two kinds of functions or not, with the "levels" of mastery applying to different representations: can you tell the difference between two graphs?  Two function rules?  Two tables of values?  Two situations described in words?

For students who have struggled so far, the transition from Part 1a of the project to Part 1b is an opportunity to have a conversation.  As students show me their completed work on Part 1a (as their "ticket" to get Part 1b), I point to the function rule on the front and ask, "What kind of function is this?"  When they answer - whether right or wrong - I ask how they can tell.  Their answer gives me insight about what they understand.  I might also ask about key words: "Read the description of the Savings Goal situation," I'll say.  "Are there any key words that tell you what kind of function this is?"  I'm looking for students to notice that if we're saving the same amount every week, that represents constant change and a situation that can be modeled with a linear function.

I repeat those questions for Situation #2 on the back of 1a, and then I provide a copy of Part 1b, and ask the same questions again.  If students can identify which functions are linear, which are exponential, and provide good reasons why, even just in a brief conversation, I'll go into my gradebook and give them "credit" for that, just like I would for taking a paper-based quiz.

Assessing SLT 4.1 with a Conversation
Checks for Understanding: Assessing SLT 4.1 with a Conversation

Spending & Saving, and Function Notation

Unit 8: Linear and Exponential Functions
Lesson 11 of 19

Big Idea: Practice with a tool like function notation is important; interpreting what that representation means in context, even more so.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, Algebra, Function Operations and Inverses, Linear and Nonlinear Equations, function notation, Algebra 1, financial applications, linear function, exponential function
43 minutes

James Dunseith

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