Education Technology

The Mysterious Constant

Activity Overview

Students investigate a pattern using the constant function on the calculator, record the ordered pairs in a table, describe the pattern, and predict what will come next.


Students will explore the following concepts in this activity:

  • whole numbers
  • addition
  • comparing numbers
  • multiplication
  • estimation
  • functions

About the Lesson

Distribute the student activity page to the class. Students will play the game in groups of two:

  • Student 1 enters a constant function (hidden) and a starting number on the calculator
  • Student 2 repeats operation with the constant function several times, records the resulting values in a table, studies the pattern, guesses the constant function, and predicts what will come next in the pattern
  • Students try to predict the number that would be displayed on the 95th use of the constant function. Have students switch roles, and repeat the activity with a different constant function.