Education Technology

Derivative of Composite Functions

Published on 09/04/2010

Activity Overview

Students practice using the Chain Rule to differentiate compositions of functions.

Key Steps

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    The Chain Rule is given for students to recall. They will practice using the Chain Rule to solve several problems.

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    An algebraic spreadsheet is available to support students in working through the process: students supply each step, which is checked for algebraic equivalence.

    This scaffolding tool may be used as much or as little as desired, noting that it does offer a model for a well-structured worked-out solution for such questions.

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    Finally, after working through several examples, students should be encouraged to apply these ideas to the general case.