Math = Love: Operations With Functions Notes and Practice Activity

Friday, February 19, 2016

Operations With Functions Notes and Practice Activity

I've got a few minutes before I head home for the weekend, so I want to sneak in a quick blog post.  With the wedding coming up and grad school finishing soon, it seems like all of my free time (and blogging time!) has a way of vanishing into thin air.

Here is a foldable I created for my students on operations with functions.  It's my favorite lazy type of foldable.  I say foldable, but it's really just a sheet of paper folded in half with practice problems inside.  We like to call these "books" in my classroom.  Of course, this gets confusing because we call poof books the same thing...



I wanted a way to make practicing this a little more fun because I have to be honest: this isn't the most exhilarating Algebra 2 topic to teach.

I spotted some foam dice in my room and ended up coming up with this:

I wrote up a list of functions that I thought would operate well with one another.

I think I had to end up adding a few more random ones to have enough for all of the students in my class.  These ended up being written on colored index cards.  

I gave each student a card and asked them to pair up.  Each pair also got a foam die and this recording sheet.

  Each pair had to decide which function to make f(x) and which function to make g(x).  Then, they rolled the foam die to determine which function operation they would have to complete.  Let's just say they got very, very aggravated when they rolled a six!

The blank box to the right of f(x) and g(x) was meant to write the operation they were completing.  The large box was meant to show their work.  And the small, skinny box was meant to record the final answer.

As students finished a problem, they raised their hands and had them checked/stamped.  Once their work was checked, the students traded index cards and found a new partner.  For the record, high school students get super excited about stamps!  

If I were to do this again, I would give them more problems to do because some students ended up avoiding multiplication or division.

I would also have them roll a die and evaluate the final function at that value.

Files for this lesson can be found here.


  1. What a great way to make learning functions more fun! Thanks for the fun idea!
    A New Day of Learning

  2. I like this set-up for the way it gets students working with a variety of partners, moving around the room, and practicing without it feeling too much like a worksheet. Thanks!

    1. My kids definitely complain less about practicing when it doesn't look like a worksheet!

  3. What a fantastic activity! You are so creative. Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate the inspiration.

  4. One question I have after looking at your foldable. Don't you have your students put restrictions on the denominators so they don't become undefined?

    1. Oklahoma doesn't test on domain restrictions, so I haven't taught it in the past. I probably should, though.

  5. You are so creative! I love your blog and your ideas for these activities! :)

  6. Thanks for the great idea. I can't wait to try it this year with my Alg. 2 classes. Keep the creative juices flowing.

  7. Thank you! I made a doc with the functions you listed (and a few more). I hope the links below work. Print on cardstock, if you like. Thanks for sharing freely, Sarah!