Education Technology

ACT: Gradient of a function
by Texas Instruments


Interpret the derivative as the slope or gradient of a tangent line of the graph of y=f(x).


  • Gradient
  • Slope
  • Steepness
  • Tangent
  • Sign

About the Lesson

In stage one of this activity students use the interactive features of TI-Nspire to explore gradient via a tangent line determining if the gradient is negative, zero or positive. This information is used to complete a sign table as a lead in to stage two where the gradient is quantified and subsequently graphed by consideration of a set of points. In the final stage students can freely explore a quadratic function and identify relationships between the original function and its gradient function.