Algebra

Exponential Functions Project – Multiple Representations

To finish our unit on exponential functions in my Tech 2 class I decided to adapt the final project from the linear functions unit.  It is my goal that my students will see how a function can be represented in different ways.  In my class we spend our time focusing on the following representations: scenario, graph, table, and equation.  The focus of this project is for students to connect the different representations of an exponential function.  One of my college professors, Dr. Nicole Bannister, was a major proponent for making these connections using color.  Color helps the students to see the connection between the representations, and my students LOVE to color.  Overall, the project was very successful as they had time in class to work on the project.  My students really enjoyed having the opportunity to work, demonstrate, and create a better understanding of exponential functions.  They may also have like the cupcakes we ate too (this was related to the way I introduced exponential decay with a cake eating mouse that never finished all the cake).

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Since my students had already completed the same project for linear functions they knew the expectations and were able to refer back to previous projects that were hanging on the fridge. ** There is not an actual fridge in my room, although I would love one, but it is our bulletin board where students can display work that they are proud of**   I provided my students with example scenarios that they could for inspiration or use for their project.  I would like to get to the point where I do not give my students scenarios to use.  When I did the linear functions project in my Algebra 1 class the students had to create their own scenarios and turn them in to me for approval before they could begin the project.  With my Tech 2 class due to time restraints I gave them the scenarios so they could get started right away.  I did have a few students that created their own scenarios which brightened my day to see students challenge themselves!  Any way, enough of my rambling is the low down on the project:

  1. Students create a scenario for an exponential function
    1. Student explain why the scenario is an exponential function (why is the scenario not linear?)
  2. Students create an equation for the scenario
  3. Students create a table for the scenario
    1. Students explain why the table represents an exponential function (show the growth/decay factor, multiplication)
  4. Students create a graph for the scenario
  5. Students connect the 4 different representations with color (connect “a” and “b”)
  6. Students identify the characteristic of an exponential function
    1. Variables
    2. Domain/Range
    3. Growth/Decay Rate/Initial Value

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I plan to continue to revise this project as well as keep some student work for the next years to use as examples.  Please feel free to comment with any ideas you have for improvement or any questions you have.

If you would like to see the directions and the rubric, please see the attached copies.  I would like to note that this project is a modification from the linear functions projected that I created alongside Emily Marks.  I do plan on adapting this again for quadratic functions.

Exponential Functions Project Topics

Exponential Function Project Rubric

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4 thoughts on “Exponential Functions Project – Multiple Representations

    1. I will fix that as soon as I get back from my spring break! If you do this in your class I would love feedback on how it works for your students. I will update this links sometime tomorrow. If you would like send me your e-mail and I can get the files to you that way as well!

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