The Juniors at Roberto Clemente Community Academy have been investigating functions in math and are getting ready to extend their mathematical knowledge and critical thinking skills to real world applications. Students began this unit by analyzing different ways of representing functions. From tables and graphs to ordered pairs and mapping diagrams, students have learned and practiced a variety of tools and techniques that can be utilized. Students will soon be creating posters and other representations of functions in order to recognize patterns and discover relationships among functions.
To illustrate the ways in which math can be observed in our everyday lives, students are also recognizing that functions occur in the real world too. Students will look at examples from economics and geometry to better understand the importance of functions beyond the classroom. To conclude the unit, students will be responsible for presenting a real-life function example to the class, complete with multiple representations and an interpretation of the function.
As students of an International Baccalaureate school, Clemente juniors are relying on IB traits—like being reflective and knowledgeable—to study math. In addition to considering how math relates to their own lives, students must reflect on how math concepts connect to each other. Prior to studying functions, juniors had a chance to investigate linear systems of equations. Students learned to solve systems through multiple methods, such as graphing and solving algebraically through substitution and elimination. To be successful, students must continue to grow and build on their previous knowledge.
In future units, students will use the skills and lessons covered in this unit to delve deeper into various types of functions, like quadratic functions and exponential functions. Soon, students will move into analyzing quadratic functions and their equations to their graphs and beyond. Given the number of real-world examples of quadratics—from throwing a ball to modeling profits—, students will be investigating how math can not only inform us about the world around us, but can help us make better decisions.