Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project Idea: Transformations of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

I assumed when I started teaching Algebra II that since the students were older and more mature that I wouldn't need to do a lot of the kinds of engaging lessons I always needed for my Algebra I students. I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't completely right either. It's all a matter of degrees.

I still need to engage my older students with innovative lessons, projects and games. In this case, we'd been studying transformations of exponential and logarithmic functions for two weeks, so I decided to use a final project as a final assessment.

The project was quite straightforward: Choose either exponential or logarithmic functions and make 1-5 posters of the five transformations we studied in class. I did ask them to show examples and to include something to make it easy to understand and memorable, but otherwise it was open ended. The five transformations are:
  1. Vertical translation
  2. Horizontal translation
  3. Vertical stretch or compression
  4. Horizontal stretch or compression
  5. Reflection
Each transformation has two possibilities, which really means there are ten in all. As usual, I didn't have poster board, so I made do with some large paper I found in our supply closet. Here's what they came up with:

This project is an adaptation of Idea #1: The Mini-Poster from my book Ten Cheap Lessons: Easy, Engaging Ideas for Every Secondary Classroom.