Thursday, 1 June 2017

Drawing Conclusions in Advanced Functions

The CN Tower was one image students could choose to recreate with the graphing
software Desmos.

Math has lots of applications, but you may not have known that drawing pictures was one of them.

A big part of truly understanding mathematical functions is understanding what they look like. How does an adjustment to a function affect how it looks on the page?

Our Grade 12 Advanced Functions classes recently got more familiar with visualizing functions by doing something you might not expect: drawing. Each student was challenged with replicating one of several existing sketches in the graphing software Desmos using functions alone. Students applied their knowledge of what each function looked like to get just the right series of lines and curves to create images from butterflies to the CN Tower.

“We used this as a fun assignment last year, and the students not only enjoyed it, but found it to be really valuable,” says Advanced Functions teacher Megan Clark. “We formalized the assignment this year as a great way to get students more comfortable with visualizing functions.”



One student chose this especially complex "extension" image for her project (and she
made sure she didn't miss any of those eyelashes!)


The project is the perfect lead-in to the class’s upcoming short culminating evaluation. Each student will create a roller coaster path, but this time they’ll do it algebraically.

As Megan explains, the drawing assignment also allowed students to group themselves by readiness. “Each student chose a ‘Level 3’ or ‘Level 4’ image to replicate,” she says. “They then had the option to add difficulty to their chosen picture based on their comfort level. For example, some students opted to add more complex functions to their pictures.”

No matter which image they tackled, students were excited to take on this new challenge. One student even affectionately named her function-elephant “Peanut.”

“Everyone was really into it!” Megan says.


This student even took the time to graph out her elephant's name.



No comments:

Post a Comment