Education Technology

Understanding Derivatives Backward & Forward

Activity Overview

Students will define procedures for computing instantaneous rates of change exactly and, when exact is impossible or impractical, approximately.

Before the Activity

Slopes of lines are important, giving average rates of change. Slopes of curves are even more important, giving instantaneous rates of change.

See the attached Activity PDF file(s) for detailed instructions for this activity.

During the Activity

Follow the procedures outlined in the activity.

Students will:

  • Understand the concept of derivative as an instaneous rate of change.
  • After the Activity

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