id: 05668522
dt: j
an: 2010c.00352
au: Hewitt, Dave
ti: A function machine.
so: Math. Teach. Inc. Micromath 2008, No. 211, 3-6 (2008).
py: 2008
pu: Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM), Derby
la: EN
cc: H33 U63
ut: elementary algebra; manipulative materials; teaching methods; concept
formation; mathematical concepts; educational games; computer software;
graphs; educational technology
ci:
li:
ab: Summary: In this article, the author describes a lesson he observed
involving a function machine. This function machine was a box with a
slot at the top of one side and a large cut-out hole at the bottom of
the opposite side. A card with a number written on it (the input) was
pushed into the slot and the teacher put their hand through the hole of
the other side to pull out a card with the output number. As the author
watched this being used, the students in the class were amazed as a
card with the number four was put into the function machine and a card
with the number six was taken out at the other side. The teacher then
asked the students to determine the mathematical rule, which in this
case was "add two." This led him to consider an alternative lesson in
which the teacher would put in a card with the number four, pull out a
card with the number six, and again ask the students to determine the
rule. In this case however, rather than "add two," the rule may be
"double the first number and then subtract two." This alternative
lesson illustrates the multiple functions that may satisfy the initial
situation of turning an input of four into an output of six, thereby
helping students develop their mathematical awareness. (Contains 5
figures.) (ERIC)
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