I decided this year was going to be different. Instead of spending 15 minutes discussing linear vs. non-linear and then moving on, we spent an entire class period working with linear and non-linear functions.
We started out by creating a frayer model for linear functions. I provided students with the definition and characteristics. They worked together, as a class, to create their own examples and non-examples. In almost every class, one student would suggest that a vertical line was an example of a linear function. It was a happy teacher moment for me when another student would realize and explain to the class why the vertical line belonged in the non-example box. Student propelled discussions are awesome! I need to have more of them in my classroom.
|Linear Function Frayer Model for Interactive Notebook|
This was the perfect opportunity to use color with a purpose. Students used one color of marker to find the rate of change between the first two lines in the table. Students used a different color of marker for the rate of change between the second and third lines in the table. And, they used a third color to find the rate of change between the third and fourth lines.
In retrospect, I should have given my students more of these tables to practice with. But, we moved on next to some practice EOI questions. These are the questions that I had just assumed in the past that my students would be able to solve on their own. We practiced finding the pattern / rate of change. And, we extended the tables as necessary to find the requested values.
I'm really glad I printed these questions off and had my students glue them in their notebooks. This allowed students to write all over the questions without having to worry about copying down the questions.
|Interactive Notebook Pages 1-2: Linear vs Non-Linear Functions|
Is this teaching to the test? Yes. But, I think it's more than that. This is me equipping my students with tools that they need to be successful. Students have to be taught to organize their work. They need to see different ways to approach problems. As we worked through these problems together, discussion naturally happened. In some classes, a few students would realize that we could take a short-cut that would keep us from having to draw extra lines on our tables. Part of the class would use the short-cut. The rest of us would write out the process, step-by-step. We would compare answers and discuss why the short cut worked.
Last year, my students would panic when they would see problems like this. This year, they view them as a sort of puzzle that they have the tools to figure out. I view that as a win!
|Interactive Notebook Page 3: Linear vs Non-Linear Functions|