Math = Love: Introducing Discrete vs. Continuous in Algebra 1 with a Card Sort

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Introducing Discrete vs. Continuous in Algebra 1 with a Card Sort

It's Sunday evening. Today can be summed up by this equation: Sunday = Church + Wal-mart + Dishes + Baking + Function Notation. I've been doing my best to tackle the mountain of dishes that has a tendency to grow out of control when you've spent the past week being sick and recovering from having your wisdom teeth removed. It also doesn't help that the husband has now caught my cold...

Just to make my pile of dishes even larger, I decided to do some baking. Tomorrow is Cookie Club, so I always spend Sunday doing at least a bit of baking. For that, I decided to change things up a bit and make a sour cream bundt cake. Then, I had some bananas that were looking very sad, so I whipped up a loaf of banana bread. This will make the trek to school tomorrow because the high school teachers are responsible this week for keeping the teacher's lounge stocked with goodies to eat. Last week, the middle school teachers provided a week's worth of snacks, so it's our turn.

My husband and I watched the first two episodes of The Great American Baking Show. We watched them make lamingtons which are a traditional Australian dessert. Despite visiting Australia three times, I still haven't had a chance to eat one. Shaun mentioned that they are one of his favorites, so as I type this, I have a cake in the oven to make into lamingtons tomorrow.

Enough about today. I want to share a file I created a few weeks ago to introduce my Algebra 1 students to the idea of discrete vs. continuous. I've been finding blogging a bit harder than normal the past few weeks because I keep getting this feeling that I don't have any ideas worth sharing. I know this isn't true. Hello, I've written over one thousand blog posts now. But, that doesn't stop my mind from trying to convince me otherwise. Hopefully, the upcoming holidays and break from school will give me a chance to recharge and get back to blogging more regularly.

Anywho. Let's get back to discrete vs. continuous.


Students were given six cards. Each card had ONE of the following filled in: situation, variables, or sketch of graph. As a class, we filled in the missing information and classified each card as discrete or continuous.


Before beginning our sorting activity, we did a quick note page summary of discrete vs. continuous.


Here's what our finished product looked like after A LOT of discussion and debate and more discussion. It took a lot longer to complete this activity than I expected, but it was a productive use of our time.


I was afraid that my finished product wasn't going to live up to my expectations when I was creating this activity. But, I absolutely loved how this activity turned out.

Domain and Range went so much smoother this year than it did in years past. I think a big difference was that we had discussed discrete vs. continuous BEFORE talking domain and range. In the past, I tried to introduce both ideas simultaneously. Sometimes our students just need to digest one concept before starting the next. 

You can download the files for this activity here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you continue to blog! You are such a big help to me!

    ReplyDelete