I am always trying to include student discourse and critical thinking in my lessons. This activity started as a sort that we would do AFTER the lesson was completed. This year I decided to change it up and created this slide deck as a lesson opener. The students were told which ones were functions and which ones were not and they had to talk at their tables and determine WHY they were functions. I asked the “What do you notice?” and “What patterns do you see?” type questions.
Both Algebra 1 classes came up with a pattern they noticed and they were able to narrow their pattern down to the x-axis, which is awesome. I continued with this discussion using tables, then function maps and asked if their pattern worked for those as well. When we started the formal note section, they were already comfortable with their idea of a function and I could use their words to tie into math vocabulary. I love when they create their own ideas and knowledge from questions instead of simply writing down what I give in notes. It means so much more to them.
I followed this activity by giving each student a relation and they had to defend on Flipgrid if it was a function and why. I love to have students explain on Flipgrid!
I’ve included a link to the slide deck I used for this activity if this is something you would also like to use.