Day 30: Fear DIES with this Acronym
We are studying rational functions in my precalculus class. I never can understand the depth of the difficulties students have with graphing these functions, although I guess the number of different tasks, concepts and procedures required to determine the overall shape can be daunting for them. So I’m trying the acronym, that “Fear of Rational Functions DIES with this procedure.” D = Discontinuities (infinite and removable), I = Intercepts (x and y), E = End Behavior (model and asymptote), S = Shape (use a table to fill out the shape if needed). Kids seem more successful this year, they seem to grasp the ideas of discontinuities better because of the work (and foldable) we did earlier in the year and they are working hard at the idea/procedure of determining vertical versus end behavior asymptotes from the function. They are completing an exploration of discontinuities today and beginning an exploration of end behavior using their Nspires. It will be fun to see how well the ideas coalesce in the next couple of days.