Education Technology

How Changing Parameters in a Function Affects Aspects of a Function

Published on 04/18/2009

Activity Overview

Students will analyze a piecewise function by looking at a graph and table values. As students change parameters, they compare the original graph and table to the transformed graph and table. Students write how the two are similar and how they are different. After each problem, they summarize how the domain and range (and other characteristics) have been affected due to the change in the parameter.

Before the Activity

Students should be comfortable with function notation, domain, range, and other characteristics of functions.

During the Activity

This activity is designed to have students explore individually and in pairs. However, an alternate approach would be to use the activity in a whole-class format. By using the computer software and the questions found on the student worksheet, you can lead an interactive class discussion.

The parameter changes .tns file and the student worksheet (Parameter changes) guides students through the main ideas of the activity. The tns file has students create a second graph so they can compare the original to the transformed function. The worksheet has them record observations, compare and contrast, then summarize the affects of a specific parameter change.