Math = Love: Algebra 1 Interactive Notebook Pages: Relations and Functions

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Algebra 1 Interactive Notebook Pages: Relations and Functions

We recently finished our third unit of the year in Algebra 1, Relations and Functions.  Here are our interactive notebook pages for the unit.  This is absolutely one of my favorite units of the year to teach!  

Each unit starts with a divider that sticks out slightly from our interactive notebooks.  

The other side of the divider lists all of the SBG skills for the unit.  I accidentally forgot to type in one of the skills when I typed the divider.  I'm still frustrated by that fact.

Here's a close-up of the skills:

The first skill of the unit was to generate equivalent representations of a relation and determine if the relation was a function.  We started by creating a foldable of the different representations of a relation.   I have blogged about this foldable in depth before here.

After making this foldable, we played a "Representations of Relations" telephone game that I blogged about here.

Next, we made a frayer model to define what a "function" is.

After defining the word "function," we had a Function Auction.  This activity is always a favorite with students, and I blogged about it here.

I let my students discover the vertical line test for themselves by making human graphs on our shower curtain coordinate plane.  I blogged about this activity here.

I pulled out a notebook page I made a few years ago to practice writing sentences to justify if a relation was or was not a function.

Students divided the next page into two columns to glue in their completed function/not a function card sort.

We also practiced differentiating between functions and non-functions by completing an open middle style problem that I created and blogged about here.

Up next: Dependent and Independent Variables

This year, I had my students write sentences in the form _________ depends on _____________.  This seemed to help more of my students master independent and dependent variables than in the past.

To introduce the concept of rate of change, I had my students act out The Crow and the Pitcher fable using graduated cylinders and glass stones.

I wrote about this activity here.  

We made two practice books.  One book focused on calculating rate of change from a table or set of points.  The second book focused on calculating rate of change from a graph.  

Next, we began to discuss domain and range.  We did a DIXIROYD foldable and two practice books.  I blogged about this foldable and these books here.

We practiced finding the domain and range of continuous functions using our dry erase pockets.  The most economical way to get a set of these dry erase pockets for your classroom is to search Amazon for "shop ticket holders." (affiliate link).

I've blogged about this domain and range practice activity before here.

I also gave my students this foldable to spark a discussion of domain and range restrictions.  This was put together at the last minute, and there are a zillion things I wish I could change about it.  I guess I'll do that next year!

It's now time to introduce function machines and function notation.  I wasn't feeling super inspired, so I ended up pulling out a foldable I designed a few years ago.  Every time I use this, I think to myself that I need to edit it.  But, every year, I just don't have the energy.  I'm definitely at that point in the year where I just need a bit of a break from school!

We practice working with function machines by trying out a task from CPM's Core Connections Algebra course.  I learned about this activity at a conference this summer and blogged about it here.

The next two pages are new this year.

Evaluating a Function From a Graph

And, Evaluating a Function From a Table.

For both, I made students write a sentence to describe what the function notation meant.  I don't know why I never had students do this before!

We practiced evaluating functions from a table, graph, and equation by playing a competitive game of "Evaluating Functions War."  I blogged about this game here.

Another activity we did in class was an open middle style problem I created to practice evaluating functions.  I blogged about this problem here.

Up next is one of my favorite activities from the entire unit: Win Some Cash!  I blogged about this task in depth here.

After graphing the "Win Some Cash!" functions, we did some more graphing functions practice.  After graphing each function, students had to classify the function as linear, absolute value, quadratic, or exponential.

We kicked off our linear vs. non-linear skill by making a frayer model for "linear."

We also did a linear/non-linear card sort.

To practice our linear vs. non-linear skills, we had a "Linear Auction."  It was a rousing success!  Students had been begging for another auction ever since our "Function Auction."  

You can learn more about the Linear Auction here and the Function Auction here.  

When I was typing my divider for this unit, I accidentally left out one of the skills.  The skill was "I can create a story given a graph and create a graph given a story."  I ended up adding this on to the end of the unit as RF8.

The problems in this foldable were all found online in various resources.  I didn't keep track of what came from where, so this makes me a very bad blogger.  Sorry!

We ended the unit by writing descriptions for these popcorn graphs.  Because I teach teenagers, I had to stop one of my students from describing George's Dad's graph as "Netflix and chill."  

I have uploaded the files for these lessons here.


  1. Sarah,
    Wow! You packed alot into this unit! I have been reading your ideas carefully, deciding which ones can be adapted to my classes in Vietnam. There are so many ideas! I have only just started this unit, so posting these was perfect timing for me! :-) I can't wait to download and try your activities! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas! Love them!
    American International School Vietnam

  2. Sarah,
    You have the best ideas, very creative. I have a few questions for you. How many days do you spend on this unit? Do you give homework or practice problems outside of school? When you assess their learning, do you give one test or a few quizzes or a combination? Thanks for sharing all your great ideas.

    Deena Lantz
    Algebra Teacher
    Rockford, Il

    1. Hi Sarah. I have the same question. I commend your creativity. Thanks for unselfishly sharing your posts.

  3. Aloha Sarah,

    I was trying to find the "Independent and Dependent Variables" foldable in your files, but could only find Ghosts in the Graveyard.
    Also wanted to let you know you have saved me this year. I'm long term subbing for a Special Ed Alg 1 class and was struggling until I found your blog. Mahalo from Bri in Maui

  4. Hi Sarah,
    I was trying to locate your file for the "Domain and Range Restrictions Foldable" and the "Independent and Dependent Variables Foldable" but was not having any luck! I also wanted you to know that you are such a great blessing to all of us new teachers! Thank you for being so willing to give and share advice with all of us!!

  5. I also can not find the Independent and Dependent Variables foldable. I love you ideas a approach, you have been a great help to me this year.

  6. Sarah,

    I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your resources with those of us looking for new ideas to use in our classrooms. I also greatly appreciate that you share your ideas in an editable format. I have a non-English speaker in my classroom and the fact that I can edit the materials and provide them to him in his native language is absolutely fantastic. I can't thank you enough for that.

    I am looking for the Independent and Dependent Variables foldable, but more importantly wanted to express my appreciation. You absolutely deserve that Teacher of the Year award!

  7. Hi all --

    I thought I'd try to help. Here's a link to a doc I created that looks like the Ind and Dep Variables notes page: