In upper school math at Advent, graphing functions and interpreting graphs are important skills to develop and cultivate. Many students never feel comfortable in the coordinate plane. One project that helps 7th grade Algebra 1 students with their graphing skills is the function picture project.
In the fall semester, the students write at least 50 linear equations (straight lines) in an online graphing tool. The lines come together to make a picture, and students must restrict the domain of each equation to give it the desired length for their picture.
In the spring semester, the students learn about various types of functions. Their project involves writing at least 50 equations including quadratic, cubic, absolute value, exponential, square root, and rational functions. Using the different function types provides various curving shapes to make realistic pictures. By using all of the main function types, students become proficient in writing and translating functions in the coordinate plane. For students who work hard, the project can be a fun way to use math creatively.
To see the graphs and equations that our current Algebra 1 students made, go here: https://docs.google.com/a/adventepiscopalschool.org/document/d/1AgKn8429LOymHoQkOMqJianMkfJgw-7OZAzNnVO2w-U/edit?usp=sharing