Cluster 2: Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (Major Cluster)Archived

Clusters should not be sorted from Major to Supporting and then taught in that order. To do so would strip the coherence of the mathematical ideas and miss the opportunity to enhance the major work of the grade with the supporting clusters.

General Information
Number: MAFS.8.F.2
Title: Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (Major Cluster)
Type: Cluster
Subject: Mathematics - Archived
Grade: 8
Domain-Subdomain: Functions

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

MAFS.8.F.2.AP.4a
Identify rise/run (m) as slope and identify the coordinates of the y-intercept.
MAFS.8.F.2.AP.5a
Sketch a graph that exhibits the slope and y-intercept provided.
MAFS.8.F.2.AP.5b
Identify the slope coordinates of one point and the y-intercept.
MAFS.8.F.2.AP.5c
Describe or select the relationship between two plotted graphs.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

3D Modeling

Wind Farm Design Challenge:

In this engineering design challenge, students are asked to create the most efficient wind turbine while balancing cost constraints. Students will apply their knowledge of surface area and graphing while testing 3D-printed wind farm blades. In the end, students are challenged to design and test their own wind farm blades, using Tinkercad to model a 3D-printable blade.

Type: 3D Modeling

Educational Software / Tool

Free Graph Paper:

A variety of graph paper types for printing, including Cartesian, polar, engineering, isometric, logarithmic, hexagonal, probability, and Smith chart.

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Formative Assessments

Population Trend:

Students are asked to describe the relationship between two quantities in a nonlinear function.

Type: Formative Assessment

Profitable Functions:

Students are asked to write a function to model a linear relationship given its graph.

Type: Formative Assessment

Trekking Functions:

Students are asked to construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities given a table of values.

Type: Formative Assessment

Smart TV:

Students are asked to determine the rate of change and initial value of a linear function given a table of values, and interpret the rate of change and initial value in terms of the situation it models.

Type: Formative Assessment

Jet Fuel:

Students are asked to analyze and describe the relationship between two linearly related quantities.

Type: Formative Assessment

Graph the Ride:

Students are given a verbal description of the relationship between two quantities and are asked to sketch a graph to model the relationship.

Type: Formative Assessment

Construction Function:

Students are asked to construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities given two ordered pairs in context.

Type: Formative Assessment

Bacterial Growth Graph:

Students are given a verbal description of the relationship between two quantities and are asked to sketch a graph to model the relationship.

Type: Formative Assessment

Drain the Pool:

Students are asked to determine the rate of change and initial value of a linear function when given a graph, and to interpret the rate of change and initial value in terms of the situation it models.

Type: Formative Assessment

Interpreting Distance-Time Graphs:

This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to interpret distance-time graphs and, in particular, to help you identify students who:

  • Interpret distance-time graphs as if they are pictures of situations rather than abstract representations of them.
  • Have difficulty relating speeds to slopes of these graphs.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lines and Linear Equations:

This lesson is intended to help you assess how well students are able to:

  • Interpret speed as the slope of a linear graph.
  • Translate between the equation of a line and its graphical representation.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Stars: HR Diagram & Classification:

In this lesson students will categorize a list of stars based on absolute brightness, size, and temperature. Students will analyze astronomical data presented in charts and plot their data on a special graph called a Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (H-R Diagram). Using this diagram, they must determine the proper classification of individual stars. Using their data analysis, students completing this lesson will develop two short essay responses to a professional client indicating which stars are Main Sequence Stars and which ones are White Dwarfs, Giants, or Supergiants.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rockets To Pluto:

Students will explore current space technology and explore the possibilities of traveling to Pluto. Students will participate in an Engineering Design Challenge in which they will construct and test their rockets to see how far they can go!

An Engineering Design Challenge is a combination of project-based learning, design thinking, and the engineering design process that develops the innovator's mindset through iteration. This lets students use their own imaginations to design projects according to science and engineering processes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fast Food Frenzy:

In this activity, students will engage critically with nutritional information and macronutrient content of several fast food meals. This is an MEA that requires students to build on prior knowledge of nutrition and working with percentages.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's My Function?:

Students will determine function rules that have been written on cards taped to their backs. They will suggest input values and peers will provide output values to help them determine their function. They will then graph their functions for additional practice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Modeling Situations With Linear Equations:

This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students use algebra in context, and in particular, how well students:

  • Explore relationships between variables in everyday situations.
  • Find unknown values from known values.
  • Find relationships between pairs of unknowns, and express these as tables and graphs.
  • Find general relationships between several variables, and express these in different ways by rearranging formulae.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lines and Linear Equations:

This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to interpret speed as the slope of a linear graph and translate between the equation of a line and its graphical representation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interpreting Distance-Time Graphs:

This lesson takes a formative assessment approach to assessing whether students can interpret distance-time graphs. Whole-class discussion, group work, and individual activities help students interpret distance-time graphs related to real-world scenarios.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discovering Kepler's Law for the Periods of Planets:

Students listen to a video that describes Kepler's determination that planetary orbits are elliptical and then will use data for the solar distance and periods of several of the planets in the solar system, then investigate several hypotheses to determine which is supported by the data.

Type: Lesson Plan

Getting Graphic with Linear Functions:

Students will learn how to construct a linear function to model a linear relationship, determine the rates of change and initial value from a table and graph as well as be able to interpret what the rate of change means as it relates to a situation.

Type: Lesson Plan

In the Real World:

This resource provides a Lesson Plan for teaching students how to analyze real-world problems to look for clearly identified values and determine which of them is a constant value and which of them is subject to change (will increase or decrease per unit of time, weight, length, etc.). The students will also be taught how to determine the correct units for each value in an equation written in slope-intercept form.

Type: Lesson Plan

Constructing and Calibrating a Hydrometer:

Students construct and calibrate a simple hydrometer using different salt solutions. They then graph their data and determine the density and salinity of an unknown solution using their hydrometer and graphical analysis.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Math Models and Social Distancing:

Learn how math models can show why social distancing during a epidemic or pandemic is important in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Constructing Functions From Two Points:

Learn to construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities and determine the slope and y-intercept given two points that represent the function with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cruising Through Functions:

Cruise along as you discover how to qualitatively describe functions in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scatterplots Part 5: Interpreting the Equation of the Trend Line :

Explore how to interpret the slope and y-intercept of a linear trend line when bivariate data is graphed on a scatterplot in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 5 in 6-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scatterplots Part 4: Equation of the Trend Line:

Learn how to write the equation of a linear trend line when fitted to bivariate data in a scatterplot in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 4 in 6-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Constructing Linear Functions from Tables:

Learn to construct linear functions from tables that contain sets of data that relate to each other in special ways as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Expert

Using Mathematics to Optimize Wing Design:

Nick Moore discusses his research behind optimizing wing design using inspiration from animals and how they swim and fly.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Asymptotic Behavior in Shark Growth Research:

Fishery Scientist from Florida State University discusses his new research in deep sea sharks and the unusual behavior that is found when the data is graphed.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Slope and Deep Sea Sharks:

Shark researcher, Chip Cotton, discusses the use of regression lines, slope, and determining the strength of the models he uses in his research.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Kites, Wind, and Speed:

Lofty ideas about kites helped power a kayak from California to Hawaii.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Problem-Solving Tasks

High School Graduation:

This task provides a unique application of modeling with mathematics. Also, students often think that time must always be the independent variable and so may need some help understanding that one chooses the independent and dependent variable based on the way one wants to view a situation.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Baseball Cards:

This task could be put to good use in an instructional sequence designed to develop knowledge related to students' understanding of linear functions in contexts. Though students could work independently on the task, collaboration with peers is more likely to result in the exploration of a range of interpretations.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Bike Race:

The purpose of this task is for students to interpret two distance-time graphs in terms of the context of a bicycle race. There are two major mathematical aspects to this: interpreting what a particular point on the graph means in terms of the context and understanding that the "steepness" of the graph tells us something about how fast the bicyclists are moving.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Modeling with a Linear Function:

The primary purpose of this task is to elicit common misconceptions that arise when students try to model situations with linear functions. This task, being multiple choice, could also serve as a quick assessment to gauge a class' understanding of modeling with linear functions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Tides:

This is a simple task about interpreting the graph of a function in terms of the relationship between quantities that it represents.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Riding by the Library:

In this task students draw the graphs of two functions from verbal descriptions. Both functions describe the same situation but changing the viewpoint of the observer changes where the function has output value zero. This small twist forces the students to think carefully about the interpretation of the dependent variable. This task could be used in different ways: To generate a class discussion about graphing. As a quick assessment about graphing, for example during a class warm-up. To engage students in small group discussion.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Downhill:

This task would be especially well-suited for instructional purposes. Students will benefit from a class discussion about the slope, y-intercept, x-intercept, and implications of the restricted domain for interpreting more precisely what the equation is modeling.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Velocity vs. Distance:

In this task students interpret two graphs that look the same but show very different quantities. The first graph gives information about how fast a car is moving while the second graph gives information about the position of the car. This problem works well to generate a class or small group discussion. Students learn that graphs tell stories and have to be interpreted by carefully thinking about the quantities shown.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Chicken and Steak, Variation 1:

In this problem-solving task students are challenged to apply their understanding of linear relationships to determine the amount of chicken and steak needed for a barbecue, which will include creating an equation, sketching a graph, and interpreting both. This resource also includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Video Streaming:

Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x,y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Chicken and Steak, Variation 2:

In this problem-solving task students are challenged to apply their understanding of linear relationships to determine the amount of chicken and steak needed for a barbecue, which will include creating an equation, sketching a graph, and interpreting both. This resource also includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Delivering the Mail:

This problem-solving task involves constructing a linear function and interpreting its parameters in a mail delivery context. It includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Distance Across the Channel:

This problem-solving task asks students to find a linear function that models something in the real world. After finding the equation of the linear relationship between the depth of the water and the distance across the channel, students have to verbalize the meaning of the slope and intercept of the line in the context of this situation. Commentary and illustrated solutions are included.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Drip, Drop, Drip, Drop:

Students design an experiment to model a leaky faucet and determine the amount of water wasted due to the leak. Using the data they gather in a table, students graph and write an equation for a line of best fit. Students then use their derived equation to make predictions about the amount of water that would be wasted from one leak over a long period of time or the amount wasted by several leaks during a specific time period.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Professional Development

Mathematical Modeling: Insights into Algebra, Teaching for Learning:

This professional development resource provides a rich collection of information to help teachers engage students more effectively in mathematical modeling. It features videos of two complete lessons with commentary, background information on effective teaching, modeling, and lesson study, full lesson plans to teach both example lessons, examples of student work from the lessons, tips for effective teaching strategies, and list of helpful resources.

  • In Lesson 1 students use mathematical models (tables and equations) to represent the relationship between the number of revolutions made by a "driver" and a "follower" (two connected gears in a system), and they will explain the significance of the radii of the gears in regard to this relationship.
  • In Lesson 2 students mathematically model the growth of populations and use exponential functions to represent that growth.

Type: Professional Development

Student Center Activity

Edcite: Mathematics Grade 8:

Students can practice answering mathematics questions on a variety of topics. With an account, students can save their work and send it to their teacher when complete.

Type: Student Center Activity

Teaching Idea

Learning About Rate of Change in Linear Functions Using Interactive Graphs:

This resource features two pairs of interactive graphs to help students explore rate of change and linear relationships. "Users can drag a slider on an interactive graph to modify a rate of change (cost per minute for phone use) and learn how modifications in that rate affect the linear graph displaying accumulation (the total cost of calls). In this first part, Constant Cost per Minute, the cost per minute for phone use remains constant over time. In the second part, Changing Cost per Minute, the cost per minute for phone use changes after the first sixty minutes of calls." (from NCTM's Illuminations)

Type: Teaching Idea

Tutorials

Comparing linear functions from a graph:

In this tutorial, students will compare linear functions from a graph. Students should have an understanding of slope and rate of change before reviewing this tutorial.

Type: Tutorial

Compare linear functions from a table and graph:

This tutorial shows how to compare linear functions that are presented in both a table and graph. Students should have an understanding of rate of change before viewing this video.

Type: Tutorial

Comparing linear functions :

Students will compare linear functions presented in a graph and in a table. Students should have a strong understanding of rate of change before viewing this tutorial.

Type: Tutorial

Finding and Interpreting Slope from a Table:

In this video, you will practice finding the slope of a line from data in a table, and interpret what the slope means in the problem.

Type: Tutorial

Interpreting Linear Graphs: Cats, Cats and More Cats!:

In this video, you will use a linear graph to determine the y-intercept (starting point) and slope (rate of change), as well as interpret what these mean in the given scenario.

Type: Tutorial

Interpreting Linear Graphs:

In this tutorial, you will look at several real-world examples of linear graphs and interpret the relationship between the two variables.

Type: Tutorial

Slope-Intercept Form from a Table:

In this video, you will practice writing the slope-intercept form for a line, given a table of x and y values.

Type: Tutorial

Slope-Intercept Equation from Two Solutions:

Given two points on a line, you will find the slope and the y-intercept. You will then write the equation of the line in slope-intercept form.

Type: Tutorial

Slope-Intercept Equation from Slope and Point:

Given the slope of a line and a point on the line, you will write the equation of the line in slope-intercept form.

Type: Tutorial

Determining a linear equation by checking solutions:

Students will learn how to determine an equation by checking solutions. Students will be given a table and 4 linear equations and they will have to determine which equation created the table.

Type: Tutorial

Using the Slope-Intercept Form of a Line:

In this video, you will practice writing the equations of lines in slope-intercept form from graphs. You will then practice graphing lines from equations in slope-intercept form.

Type: Tutorial

Dependent and Independent Variables Exercise: Express the Graph as an Equation:

Given a graph, we will be able to find the equation it represents.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Linear Functions and Slope:

This session on linear function and slope contains five parts, multiple problems and videos, and interactive activities geared to help students recognize and understand linear relationships, explore slope and dependent and independent variables in graphs of linear relationships, and develop an understanding of rates and how they are related to slopes and equations. Throughout the session, students use spreadsheets to complete the work, and are encouraged to think about the ways technology can aid in teaching and understanding. The solutions for all problems are given, and many allow students to have a hint or tip as they solve. There is even a homework assignment with four problems for students after they have finished all five parts of the session.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Proportional Reasoning:

In this resource, a special kind of functional relationship is explored: the proportional relationship. Teachers may find the resource useful for professional development, especially the videos. Students develop proportional reasoning skills by comparing quantities, looking at the relative ways numbers change, and thinking about proportional relationships in linear functions.
This resource has four objectives. Students learn to differentiate between relative and absolute meanings of "more" and determine which of these is a proportional relationship, compare ratios without using common denominator algorithms, differentiate between additive and multiplicative processes and their effects on scale and proportionality, and interpret graphs that represent proportional relationships or direct variation.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Direct and Inverse Variation:

"Lesson 1 of two lessons teaches students about direct variation by allowing them to explore a simulated oil spill using toilet paper tissues (to represent land) and drops of vegetable oil (to simulate a volume of oil). Lesson 2 teaches students about inverse variation by exploring the relationship between the heights of a fixed amount of water poured into cylindrical containers of different sizes as compared to the area of the containers' bases." from Insights into Algebra 1 - Annenberg Foundation.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Virtual Manipulatives

Linear Equations:

This resource provides guided practice for writing and graphing linear functions.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Linear Function Machine:

In this activity, students plug values into the independent variable to see what the output is for that function. Then based on that information, they have to determine the coefficient (slope) and constant(y-intercept) for the linear function. This activity allows students to explore linear functions and what input values are useful in determining the linear function rule. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the Java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Graphing Lines:

Allows students access to a Cartesian Coordinate System where linear equations can be graphed and details of the line and the slope can be observed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Function Flyer:

In this online tool, students input a function to create a graph where the constants, coefficients, and exponents can be adjusted by slider bars. This tool allows students to explore graphs of functions and how adjusting the numbers in the function affect the graph. Using tabs at the top of the page you can also access supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Number Cruncher:

In this activity, students enter inputs into a function machine. Then, by examining the outputs, they must determine what function the machine is performing. This activity allows students to explore functions and what inputs are most useful for determining the function rule. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Graphs and Functions:

This lesson is designed to introduce students to plotting points and graphing functions in the Cartesian coordinate system. The lesson provides links to discussions and activities that transition from functions as rules to the graphs of those functions. Finally, the lesson provides links to follow-up lessons designed for use in succession to an introduction to graphing.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Equation Grapher:

This interactive simulation investigates graphing linear and quadratic equations. Users are given the ability to define and change the coefficients and constants in order to observe resulting changes in the graph(s).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Worksheet

Mass vs. Weight:

This laboratory activity worksheet engages students in an exploration of mass and weight. Students use a balance and spring scale to measure the masses and weights of a several of objects. Students will analyze the data and determine the the relationship between mass and weight using graphing skills. An answer key is attached to assist the use of this resource.

Type: Worksheet

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Math Models and Social Distancing:

Learn how math models can show why social distancing during a epidemic or pandemic is important in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Constructing Functions From Two Points:

Learn to construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities and determine the slope and y-intercept given two points that represent the function with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cruising Through Functions:

Cruise along as you discover how to qualitatively describe functions in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scatterplots Part 5: Interpreting the Equation of the Trend Line :

Explore how to interpret the slope and y-intercept of a linear trend line when bivariate data is graphed on a scatterplot in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 5 in 6-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scatterplots Part 4: Equation of the Trend Line:

Learn how to write the equation of a linear trend line when fitted to bivariate data in a scatterplot in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 4 in 6-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in the series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Constructing Linear Functions from Tables:

Learn to construct linear functions from tables that contain sets of data that relate to each other in special ways as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Problem-Solving Tasks

Bike Race:

The purpose of this task is for students to interpret two distance-time graphs in terms of the context of a bicycle race. There are two major mathematical aspects to this: interpreting what a particular point on the graph means in terms of the context and understanding that the "steepness" of the graph tells us something about how fast the bicyclists are moving.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Modeling with a Linear Function:

The primary purpose of this task is to elicit common misconceptions that arise when students try to model situations with linear functions. This task, being multiple choice, could also serve as a quick assessment to gauge a class' understanding of modeling with linear functions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Tides:

This is a simple task about interpreting the graph of a function in terms of the relationship between quantities that it represents.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Riding by the Library:

In this task students draw the graphs of two functions from verbal descriptions. Both functions describe the same situation but changing the viewpoint of the observer changes where the function has output value zero. This small twist forces the students to think carefully about the interpretation of the dependent variable. This task could be used in different ways: To generate a class discussion about graphing. As a quick assessment about graphing, for example during a class warm-up. To engage students in small group discussion.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Downhill:

This task would be especially well-suited for instructional purposes. Students will benefit from a class discussion about the slope, y-intercept, x-intercept, and implications of the restricted domain for interpreting more precisely what the equation is modeling.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Velocity vs. Distance:

In this task students interpret two graphs that look the same but show very different quantities. The first graph gives information about how fast a car is moving while the second graph gives information about the position of the car. This problem works well to generate a class or small group discussion. Students learn that graphs tell stories and have to be interpreted by carefully thinking about the quantities shown.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Chicken and Steak, Variation 1:

In this problem-solving task students are challenged to apply their understanding of linear relationships to determine the amount of chicken and steak needed for a barbecue, which will include creating an equation, sketching a graph, and interpreting both. This resource also includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Video Streaming:

Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x,y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Chicken and Steak, Variation 2:

In this problem-solving task students are challenged to apply their understanding of linear relationships to determine the amount of chicken and steak needed for a barbecue, which will include creating an equation, sketching a graph, and interpreting both. This resource also includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Distance Across the Channel:

This problem-solving task asks students to find a linear function that models something in the real world. After finding the equation of the linear relationship between the depth of the water and the distance across the channel, students have to verbalize the meaning of the slope and intercept of the line in the context of this situation. Commentary and illustrated solutions are included.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Student Center Activity

Edcite: Mathematics Grade 8:

Students can practice answering mathematics questions on a variety of topics. With an account, students can save their work and send it to their teacher when complete.

Type: Student Center Activity

Tutorials

Comparing linear functions from a graph:

In this tutorial, students will compare linear functions from a graph. Students should have an understanding of slope and rate of change before reviewing this tutorial.

Type: Tutorial

Compare linear functions from a table and graph:

This tutorial shows how to compare linear functions that are presented in both a table and graph. Students should have an understanding of rate of change before viewing this video.

Type: Tutorial

Comparing linear functions :

Students will compare linear functions presented in a graph and in a table. Students should have a strong understanding of rate of change before viewing this tutorial.

Type: Tutorial

Finding and Interpreting Slope from a Table:

In this video, you will practice finding the slope of a line from data in a table, and interpret what the slope means in the problem.

Type: Tutorial

Interpreting Linear Graphs: Cats, Cats and More Cats!:

In this video, you will use a linear graph to determine the y-intercept (starting point) and slope (rate of change), as well as interpret what these mean in the given scenario.

Type: Tutorial

Interpreting Linear Graphs:

In this tutorial, you will look at several real-world examples of linear graphs and interpret the relationship between the two variables.

Type: Tutorial

Slope-Intercept Form from a Table:

In this video, you will practice writing the slope-intercept form for a line, given a table of x and y values.

Type: Tutorial

Slope-Intercept Equation from Two Solutions:

Given two points on a line, you will find the slope and the y-intercept. You will then write the equation of the line in slope-intercept form.

Type: Tutorial

Slope-Intercept Equation from Slope and Point:

Given the slope of a line and a point on the line, you will write the equation of the line in slope-intercept form.

Type: Tutorial

Determining a linear equation by checking solutions:

Students will learn how to determine an equation by checking solutions. Students will be given a table and 4 linear equations and they will have to determine which equation created the table.

Type: Tutorial

Using the Slope-Intercept Form of a Line:

In this video, you will practice writing the equations of lines in slope-intercept form from graphs. You will then practice graphing lines from equations in slope-intercept form.

Type: Tutorial

Dependent and Independent Variables Exercise: Express the Graph as an Equation:

Given a graph, we will be able to find the equation it represents.

Type: Tutorial

Virtual Manipulatives

Linear Function Machine:

In this activity, students plug values into the independent variable to see what the output is for that function. Then based on that information, they have to determine the coefficient (slope) and constant(y-intercept) for the linear function. This activity allows students to explore linear functions and what input values are useful in determining the linear function rule. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the Java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Graphing Lines:

Allows students access to a Cartesian Coordinate System where linear equations can be graphed and details of the line and the slope can be observed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Function Flyer:

In this online tool, students input a function to create a graph where the constants, coefficients, and exponents can be adjusted by slider bars. This tool allows students to explore graphs of functions and how adjusting the numbers in the function affect the graph. Using tabs at the top of the page you can also access supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Number Cruncher:

In this activity, students enter inputs into a function machine. Then, by examining the outputs, they must determine what function the machine is performing. This activity allows students to explore functions and what inputs are most useful for determining the function rule. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Equation Grapher:

This interactive simulation investigates graphing linear and quadratic equations. Users are given the ability to define and change the coefficients and constants in order to observe resulting changes in the graph(s).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Problem-Solving Tasks

High School Graduation:

This task provides a unique application of modeling with mathematics. Also, students often think that time must always be the independent variable and so may need some help understanding that one chooses the independent and dependent variable based on the way one wants to view a situation.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Baseball Cards:

This task could be put to good use in an instructional sequence designed to develop knowledge related to students' understanding of linear functions in contexts. Though students could work independently on the task, collaboration with peers is more likely to result in the exploration of a range of interpretations.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Bike Race:

The purpose of this task is for students to interpret two distance-time graphs in terms of the context of a bicycle race. There are two major mathematical aspects to this: interpreting what a particular point on the graph means in terms of the context and understanding that the "steepness" of the graph tells us something about how fast the bicyclists are moving.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Modeling with a Linear Function:

The primary purpose of this task is to elicit common misconceptions that arise when students try to model situations with linear functions. This task, being multiple choice, could also serve as a quick assessment to gauge a class' understanding of modeling with linear functions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Tides:

This is a simple task about interpreting the graph of a function in terms of the relationship between quantities that it represents.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Riding by the Library:

In this task students draw the graphs of two functions from verbal descriptions. Both functions describe the same situation but changing the viewpoint of the observer changes where the function has output value zero. This small twist forces the students to think carefully about the interpretation of the dependent variable. This task could be used in different ways: To generate a class discussion about graphing. As a quick assessment about graphing, for example during a class warm-up. To engage students in small group discussion.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Downhill:

This task would be especially well-suited for instructional purposes. Students will benefit from a class discussion about the slope, y-intercept, x-intercept, and implications of the restricted domain for interpreting more precisely what the equation is modeling.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Velocity vs. Distance:

In this task students interpret two graphs that look the same but show very different quantities. The first graph gives information about how fast a car is moving while the second graph gives information about the position of the car. This problem works well to generate a class or small group discussion. Students learn that graphs tell stories and have to be interpreted by carefully thinking about the quantities shown.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Chicken and Steak, Variation 1:

In this problem-solving task students are challenged to apply their understanding of linear relationships to determine the amount of chicken and steak needed for a barbecue, which will include creating an equation, sketching a graph, and interpreting both. This resource also includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Video Streaming:

Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x,y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Chicken and Steak, Variation 2:

In this problem-solving task students are challenged to apply their understanding of linear relationships to determine the amount of chicken and steak needed for a barbecue, which will include creating an equation, sketching a graph, and interpreting both. This resource also includes annotated solutions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Distance Across the Channel:

This problem-solving task asks students to find a linear function that models something in the real world. After finding the equation of the linear relationship between the depth of the water and the distance across the channel, students have to verbalize the meaning of the slope and intercept of the line in the context of this situation. Commentary and illustrated solutions are included.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Teaching Idea

Learning About Rate of Change in Linear Functions Using Interactive Graphs:

This resource features two pairs of interactive graphs to help students explore rate of change and linear relationships. "Users can drag a slider on an interactive graph to modify a rate of change (cost per minute for phone use) and learn how modifications in that rate affect the linear graph displaying accumulation (the total cost of calls). In this first part, Constant Cost per Minute, the cost per minute for phone use remains constant over time. In the second part, Changing Cost per Minute, the cost per minute for phone use changes after the first sixty minutes of calls." (from NCTM's Illuminations)

Type: Teaching Idea

Virtual Manipulative

Graphing Lines:

Allows students access to a Cartesian Coordinate System where linear equations can be graphed and details of the line and the slope can be observed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative