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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Teaching the Concept of Functions


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Subject:   RE: Teaching the Concept of Functions
Author: tackweed
Date: Sep 25 2004
I usually start off the year with a discussion of calculators, specifically
dealing with the function keys [%]{x^2][sqrt]vs the operations keys[+] [-] [x]
[] [y^x] (and its inverse - the x root of y). The easiest example of this is
probably the x^2 key vs the y^x key. Students find this an interesting
connection - probably because they wonder what these other keys are for.....

As far as using function machines - math tools has bunches - both Java applets
and JavaScripts are available which are in fact, function machines.  Using these
number-in-number-out tools will generate data some of which which can be
graphed which adds another dimension.

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