Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Are Absolute Value Functions Linear? - Section 1: Launch: Applying Prior Knowledge


I like to always present students with real world applications of the math concepts taught in class, including this concept of absolute value. In the past, I've introduced it as the distance from or to zero on the number line like in most textbooks. I've found that this doesn't really convince all students of its importance and why we need it. The distance from zero is a mathematical example which needs to be mentioned, but I first present students with distances in real life. Question 5 in the Launch Slip is an example, where the ant goes forward, then back, then forward again. A similar example could be walking east for 2 blocks, then west for 5, then 9 blocks east again. How far did I walk? Here students mentally do an absolute value for the -5. I invite students to search for other real life examples of the use of absolute value, before presenting the textbook definition. 

Here are two good websites on real world applications of absolute value: 

click 1

click 2

  Defining Absolute Value as Distance from Zero
  Adjustments to Practice: Defining Absolute Value as Distance from Zero
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Are Absolute Value Functions Linear?

Unit 8: Advanced Equations and Functions
Lesson 7 of 7

Objective: SWBAT qualitatively understand the relationship between a linear and an absolute value function.

Big Idea: Is an Absolute Value function linear or non-linear? Students explore and explain their reasoning.

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Math, function, Linear function, graphing, Absolute Value, ELL, Domain, Range,
  55 minutes
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