Education Technology

The Slope of the Tangent Line (Part1)

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students use the CellSheet™ Application to approximate the slope of a line tangent to a curve.

Before the Activity

  • Install the CellSheet on the calculator using the TI Connect™, TI-Connectivity cable, and Unit to Unit cables
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 57 - 62 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Use the quadratic equation for the curve and the x-value of the point of contact of the tangent to find the corresponding y-value
  • Set Δx as 1 unit to find another value of x and the corresponding y-value
  • Find the slope of the secant line joining the two points
  • Use smaller values of Δx (for better approximation of the slope of the tangent line) and determine the slopes of the new secant lines
  • Observe the pattern between the Δx values and slopes of the lines
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the worksheet and answer questions.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary