I am teaching a lesson about the different way to use the function machine (know the IN column and the rule and having to find out the OUT column, vice versa. Also, not knowing the rule and having to figure out that etc...).

Has anyone taught this? It is lesson 3.1 in the 4th grade EDM book. I wanted to introduce it with a fun model but can not think of way. Something that shows one thing going in and something coming out. But it is hard because I can't apply the "rule" to it.

I was thinking showing them 10 cents and they get a jelly bean. Then 20 cents and they get two jelly beans. But I wish I could put it IN to something and the jelly beans come OUT!

I just taught this lesson yesterday. I googled "function machine" and found this: http://www.nsa.gov/academia/_files/c...on_machine.pdf (Not sure if the link will show up when I post.) It has lots of great ideas! If you scroll down a bit, you'll find instructions for making individual function machines. My students loved it! We all used the same rule yesterday. On Monday, they're going to work in groups to make strips that exemplify other rules.

In the spur of the moment and without much planning, I read "The Greedy Triangle" to introduce the concept. If you are unfamiliar with the storyline, the triangle doesn't like its shape so he goes to the shapeshifter to get one more side and one more angle. Each time he gets this change, he finds himself unhappy and goes back.

So after reading the story, we set up a function machine for the story but only used pictures. Went in as triangle, came out square; went in as square came out as pentagon, etc. The rule was "Add one side, add one angle." The kids seem to get the idea and it was a good review of polygons, too!

Love2teach, I only have an hour and want to differentiate as well. What would you think of me just making ONE of the small function machines with the sentence strips. My only concern is, you can see all the other numbers on the number line correct? Did you write IN and OUT above each of the slits on the construction paper?

I was thinking if model with a rule, I could have 4 or 5 sentence strips to put into the machine that correlate with the rule? OR, I can have one sentence strip with 4 of 5 numbers that correlate with the rule?

My class took about an hour to complete the lesson. Yes, you can see the remaining numbers on the strip, but they were able to identify the one to the left of the covered area as the input and the one to the right as the output. I have a GATE cluster class this year with various ability levels. I did the lesson whole group, but am going to add a differentiated step on Monday and have the advanced and proficient group create their own strips to show a different rule, while I will work with the other kids to create a strip that shows another rule. I don't think this step will take an hour (at least I hope it won't). I think your idea of having the 4 or 5 strips is a great idea! I was also able to find some links for some online games to practice input/output. One of them was at PBSkids, I think. If you google "function machine", you'll find many other resources.

I project an image of the Star-On machine in the Seuss story and talk about the Sneetches and how they keep paying as Monkey McBean continues to reset his machine until he takes all their money.

It's a great set-up to introduce the Function Table (Machine) and how the results change as your reset new rules -- and vice versa.

The students respond well to the concept and like solving for the mystery rule.

I've seen this idea also:
*Get a large box (big enough for a kid to get into)
*Cut a hole in it. Label it input.
*Cut another hole- label it output.
*Have a student get in and "change" inputs to the outputs. http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr...hchat010.shtml

Along with the Greedy Triangle book:
We've done functions for each shape-
1 triangle - 3 sides
2 triangles- 6 sides
1 square- 4 sides
etc.

machines in the book Lessons for Algebraic Thinking 3-5. (I believe it's by Burns and Wickett -- they are incredible.) I read the book Two of Everything to introduce this concept.

I am just amazed when the students are able to generalize patterns and use variables to write the rule to solve any equation for an unknown!

I LOVE this resource. Thank you so much. It is not always easy trying to find resources that match the objectives and power standards that we need to teach.

Thanks to all who have shared. I am teaching fourth grade summer school and the kids have really struggled with this. I wanted to find some ideas/resources for re-teaching, so of course I came here to PT. When I searched 'in and out', nothing was found, but when I tried 'function box' I hit this jackpot. Now, you've got my own creative juices flowing again and I'm thinking I'll try to make a 'flip chute' which can work as an 'In and Out' machine. I'll make cards that have the 'in' on the front/top and the 'out' on the back/bottom and the kids will have to determine the rule of the machine. For others, I can tell them the rule first and they can predict the 'out' (result) and check it by 'feeding the card into the machine.'

I created a machine with a box. Make 1/2 in slits 1 in from top and one from bottom. Then place a piece of poster board inside box the about the same width as slit in box. Attach with tape so that it curves inside and attach tape at the exit (bottom) to assist in sliding out. Then create cards one side has the IN # in large print and the back side has the OUT # in small print. When you slide the card into the top slot show IN # up and when it slides down and out the bottom, you see the back side of card with the OUT# showing. So, you create problem and cards for problem and they get to put cards in and try to figure out the rule. It's just a visual of the problem.

Ronquillo

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