Education Technology

Exploration of the Chain Rule

Published on 02/17/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students look to recognize a pattern from doing examples on the TI-Nspire(CAS). After doing a number of examples, the student is asked to write a conjecture for the chain rule for derivatives. The student is then asked to use the conjecture for other problems and then check the answes with the device. More complicated problems complete the activity.

Before the Activity

Students will need to know how to find derivatives on the particular device (TI-89, TI-92, TI-Nspire(CAS)) that they are using. This activity also assumes knowledge of the derivative of power functions, the sine function and the cosine function.

During the Activity

The activity is self-directed. It may be done by single students or by groups of students. Directions are provided inside the TNS file.

After the Activity

The teacher should check to make sure the chain rule procedure is understood by all students.