My math catchphrase is “connecting knowledge with understanding”, which you can read more about HERE. Every time I create an activity, this phrase is what I think about. It helps me stay focused on the true goal and outcome of what I want for each activity.
There is one activity in particular that really embodies this statement. It’s an activity that I’ve used over and over with my students for different types of functions. At first, students tend to have productive struggle with this activity. BUT once they get the hang of it, they realize how making these connections helps them fully understand functions and their graphs. I call this activity Name That Function.
What is Name That Function?
Name That Function is an activity where students analyze graphs of functions and make connections to their characteristics and the function that represents each graph. Students are given a fill-in-the blank table where some information is already given. Then they match the graphs to the characteristics and fill in the missing information.
There are different activities based on the type of function being studied. Each activity includes a print and digital version. Here are the different types of Name That Function activities and what attributes are reviewed:
slope, y-intercept, x-intercept, points on the line, slope-intercept form, point-slope form, standard form, and parallel and perpendicular lines (optional).
Characteristics of Functions
domain, range, intercepts, local min, local max, intervals of increase and decrease, end behavior, parent functions, continuity, and evaluating a function from a graph
factor and simplify, vertical asymptotes, holes, horizontal asymptotes, x-intercepts, y-intercepts, and domain
domain, range, symmetry, intervals of increase and decrease, end behavior, and the parent function equation
Why is this activity helpful?
I cannot tell you how many times students treat equations and graphs as separate entities that have no connection. When, in fact, everything about them is 100% connected! I think this happens because we, as teachers, scaffold the content, and in doing so separate each aspect of a function into separate lessons. Which makes them appear disconnected.
Great news! This activity brings an entire function unit together, so students can understand functions based on the equation, attributes, and graph as a whole.
Do students enjoy this activity?
Yes, my students enjoy making these connections and feel more prepared for assessments because of it! But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some reviews from other math teachers that have used these activities in their classroom as well:
Great activity! Worked out perfectly in my stations and my students were very engaged! Thank you for sharing your creativity with me! – TexasMath4Success
Excellent resource! Really helped my students make the connections I wanted them to make. Thank you! – Passion 4 Mathin
This was a great activity after our introductory lesson. Students were able to compare and contrast different types of quadratics and it reinforced the concepts of min/max and vertex form. – Anna K.
I used this as a group test in my class. Students loved the activity and we’re challenged to really understand all aspects of quadratic functions. – The Square Root of Teaching
Great activity - my kids were able to apply their understanding and had great math conversations while they were working together. – Heather K.
Such rich discussions took place with this activity. It worked great as a chapter review.
– Michelle E.
Was very helpful for my students of different levels, engaging – Shan H B.
Perfect activity to test students knowledge and application of properties of quadratics and how they affect both graph and equations. – Grove Math
This resource had just the rigor I was looking for! Thank you! I had my students use it in groups. I used part A for my on-level class and part B for my honors class. Great resource!
– Theresa Simmons
This activity engages students to understanding characteristics of function families. Great discourse and enrichment activity. – Tony R.
Used for an in-class activity. Engaging and fun for students. Activity was thorough with great examples included. – Kristina R.
Students had to think to get the whole picture. Thanks! – Lynn S.
Can’t wait to get your hands on a Name That Function?! No problem, I have TWO waiting for you for FREE!
If you are NEW to Algebra and Beyond, CLICK on either image below to sign up and receive the activities. If you are already part of the Algebra and Beyond Community, click HERE and use the member passcode to access the activities.
Are you already convinced that your students will LOVE this activity?! Choose the activities that best fit your curriculum: