Functions or "Input-Output Rules"

This spring, fourth and fifth grade classes explore functions in Bridges Unit 7. You'll find an interesting assortment of possible lesson extensions on Mathwire under Investigating Growing Patterns.  Activities include pdfs for:

  • Fir Tree - create growing tree patterns with pattern block triangles.
  • Hexagon Dragons - "requires students to extend the pattern, create an input/output table to describe the growing pattern, then draw and/or describe the 10th dragon in words."
  • Table & Chairs Investigation - "challenges students to find a rule to describe the relationship between the number of small square restaurant tables placed together in a line and the number of diners that can be seated at the larger table if only one person sits on each side." This could also be used as a challenge problem for third grade students in Unit 5: Session 7&8, "The 329th Friend How Many Tables?" or fourth grade Unit 1: Session 18 & 19, "Spaghetti & Meatballs for All."
  • Caterpillar and Rocket Problems - Marilyn Burns lessons where students "build, extend and create a table of values" for the growing caterpillar or rocket.

Technology Connections
The Mathwire focus also includes a set of technology links to function machines accessible for on-line play. Students may also enjoy this Function Machine activity. Fourth graders will find it familiar after completing February's Number Corner Calendar Grid.

Literature Connections
Mathwire suggests a literature list with related activities that encourage further exploration of functions as growing patterns.