Sorting Functions

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SWBAT sort and match different representations of functions. SWBAT explain their reasoning for matching functions.

Big Idea

Students deepen their understanding through a sorting and matching task.

Entry Ticket

15 minutes

For the entry ticket, students complete a Performance Task: Functions from the Math Assessment Project. The task asks students to identify a linear function and a quadratic function from a set of points all on the same coordinate plane. The reason for including this task is to give students practice identifying the basic shape and characteristics of linear and quadratic functions. 

After students have completed the task, I ask students to complete a Turn and Talk  with a partner and discuss their work.  Another reason for assigning this particular problem as an entry ticket is this type of problem will most likely be the type of assessment problems that students will be asked to complete with the upcoming Common Core assessments and the more practice students get with the type of problems they will encounter, the more prepared and confident they may be. 

Sorting Functions

20 minutes

During this section students work and persevere on the Sorting Functions Activity in pairs based off of the activity from the Math Shell Assessment Center.

There is also a Rubric for Sorting Functions that provides teachers with clear expectations and guidelines for assessing student work for this activity.

Create Your Own Sort

20 minutes

I will now give my students the Create Your Own Sort activity. I created this task for my students as an extension for their work on the MAP assessment. In this activity, students engage in the process of creating their own set of situations, graphs and formulas. I plan to give my students a copy of the Template so that they can focus on the main concepts and developing their ideas, rather than the organization of the information in a table for others. 

I encourage students to be creative in their situations. I also ask them to try to provide a subtle hint as to the type of function (linear, quadratic or exponential) in their description. Before getting started, we will work as a class to generate one example to serve as a model. I will have my students work in groups of 2-3 for this activity. 

Sorting Functions - Round 2

20 minutes

After the class has finished creating their function sorts, I ask groups to exchange their sorts. This way students get more practice sorting and matching functions that have been created by their peers. I will give students a second copy of the Sorting Functions worksheet. I will have students mark it as "Classmate Sort" that clearly identifies it as work from their classmates sort. Since students created sorts in groups, I will have students complete the class-generated sorts in the same small groups so there are enough sorts for all students to be working on. 

Ticket to Leave and Homework

15 minutes

The Closing for class today is a whole group discussion. I ask students what they liked about the activities, what they disliked and how they can improve for next time. I ask students if they think sorting or creating functions is easier and why. I also ask students to nominate a classmate's situation they thought was particularly interesting or unique and why. 

For Homework, students are asked to create one more situation (description, graph, equation, table and rule) that models a function at home or at work. 


Mathematics Assessment Project (2012). A16: Sorting Functions Activity and Rubric.  (A Mathematics Assessment Project Summative Assessment Item)Shell Center: University of Nottingham. Accessed online on May 26, 2014.