Discussion:  Traffic Jam Applet tool 
Topic:  Teaching the Concept of Functions 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/10/ 
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Subject:  RE: Teaching the Concept of Functions 
Author:  Ken Jensen 
Date:  Jun 28 2009 
function to mean "how something works" this is also helpful in other grades
through high school. Then present stages of increasing patterns such as stage
one has 2 dots stage two has 3 dots up to the fourth stage. Now ask, "How does
the pattern function?, how does it work? How does it grow?" once you get a good
set of responses ask the class to predict the tenth stage (you might need to
wait until 2nd or 3rd grade for the prediction part).
Keep in mind that the purpose of algebra is to make predictions. Algebra is the
study and use of patterns to make predictions.
 
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