Education Technology

Exploring Basic Equations

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students will explore equations with constants, variables, and exponents.

Before the Activity

Download the attached EDC file and send to student calculators. If needed, make copies of the spreadsheet pages.

During the Activity

First:
Start by giving the students the vocabulary worksheet. Have the student try to define what each word means in their group, without looking at a text or a dictionary. Discuss with the students the vocabulary.

Second:
Give the students the actual definition of the words or have them look them in their text.
Have a discussion of what these words mean. Have them draw their representation of the each word. What they think of when they hear the word.

Third:
On the worksheet labeled "Similarities and Differences" have the student write down the similarities and differences of:
Variables, constant and exponents
Expressions and equations
NOTE: A Venn Diagram works great for this activity as well.

Fourth:
In TI-Navigator™, go to Activity Center and Send the following equations separately to the students. Have the students try to match the equation as well as find a line that is parallel.
y=2x
y=x
y=3x^2
y=x^2
y=3
y=2
y=-1

Have the student fill out a similarities and differences worksheet for the graphical representation. Make sure you give time for discussion of the what each student has found.

Fifth:
Set up the background of Activity Center with the background picture being the Golden Gate Bridge. Have the students find the line matching the base of the bridge. Have a discussion with the student about angle of the picture.
Why is the angle important?
Would you get a different equation if you had a different angle?
Could the equation be a constant?
Is the graph linear, a parabola or a constant?
Could it be anything else?
Where else could you see this similarity?

After the Activity

After the activity, you can complete the 'similiarity and difference' form or give the five question LearningCheck™ quiz. Both are benefitial.

Another option would be to complete the similarity and difference form for homework and just give the five question quiz.