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 Discussion: Roundtable Topic: Teaching the Concept of Functions

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 Subject: RE: Teaching the Concept of Functions Author: Susan Date: Sep 24 2004
On Sep 24 2004, lanius wrote:
>

Then the students
> begin to see the slickness of the idea of
> functions. They even begin
> to make jokes with it. "My anger is a
> function of the number of
> jelly beans that my brother took from
> my lunch ..."

Now this is a great idea to go with. The degree to
> which I retaliate is a function of my anger. So now we have a
> composite function.

I think this will help the kids get the idea of composition, but they really
start getting confused when they have to compose a formula...
Even a simple one like f(x)=2x-3 and g(x) = 4x^2-1, and asked to find
f(g(x)).  Often they will start out with 2x(4x^2-1)-3. How can we help them
write formulas?  Can we extend some of the anaologies to help with formula
writing?