Students construct a function machine from a small box. Students use the calculator to discover functions. They create their own one-step and two-step function rules and turn their calculators into a function machine.

Before the Activity

See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity

Print pages 117 - 127 from the attached PDF file for your class

During the Activity

Distribute the page to the class.

Follow the activity procedures:
Activity A:

Read the poem Homework Machine to the class

Activity B:

Hide one cube inside a cup and call it the plus one machine

Add a certain number of cubes to the cup

Pour out all the cubes and count them

Observe one more cube has been added to the lot

Activity C:

Use grid paper and color (black) one square to represent the hidden cube

Color other squares to represent the visible cubes

Represent the action with symbols on the calculator

Repeat the activity with different amounts of hidden cubes and discover the hidden number of cubes

Activity D:

Use a sample function box to illustrate number patterns and relations

Identify the number pattern

Construct a function machine using a box and index cards

Create three cards for a number pattern

Guess the number pattern

Activity E:

Use the calculator to show addition number patterns

After the Activity

Review student results

As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging