Function Activities with the TI-30XS

Students do not need to know how to enter functions into the TASC  TI-30XS, but for teachers want to incorporate more calculator explorations into their classes, here are two features of the calculator worth knowing about. The pdf link above is a set of step-by-step instructions. The docx link is the same, but I included it in case teachers want to tailor the instructions specifically for their students.

Using the calculator to play the Function Game

This is a good activity for teachers who are using (or reviewing) Unit 1 of the CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework and want to give students some practice with the TI-30XS calculator.

In Unit 1 of the CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework there is an activity called “My Teacher is a Computer” and another called “The Function Game”.

  • “My Teacher is a Computer” comes in the beginning of the lesson, where the teacher has a function rule in their head. Students take turns giving numbers to input into the teachers function and the teacher tells students what number comes out with each input. Students keep track of the inputs and outputs and use the growing table to try and guess the function rule.
  • “The Function Game” comes at the end of the lesson (there are two other activities between “My Teacher is a…” and “The Function Game”). In this activity students come up with a function and then use that function to fill out some input/outputs a table. Then they give the table to another student, who then has to figure out the function rule.

The TASC calculator – the TI-30XS has a feature that allows students to enter a function into the calculator. They they can set the calculator to take inputs from another student and give the output. The other student can keep putting in numbers  until they are able to guess the function. It is a kind of a combination of the two activities above.

Here’s a brief video to show you how it can be done:

Using the calculator to create a function (In/Out) table

You can also enter a function into the calculator and get a completed input/output table. It is a very similar set-up as using the calculator to play the function game, except for one step, which is described in the step-by-step instructions. Basically, when you get to the menu of three options, instead of choosing “Ask-x” you choose “Auto”.

I’m curious as to how teachers might use this feature of the calculator with students, so please share any ideas you have in the comment section below.

  • What are some benefits to showing students how to enter a function equation and get a completed table of input and output values?
  • What might be some interesting function equations students could enter and then do a notice/wonder with the completed function table?


One thought on “Function Activities with the TI-30XS

  1. Thanks much for this video! I can’t wait to use it in my classroom. I anticipate that students will be wowed when they see that they can use the calculator to create functions. I had forgotten how to do it myself and your video simply modeled it. I am always looking for ways to help students to develop a comfort level with this calculator since they are allowed to use it on half the test. Playing the function game with the calculator will benefit both new and seasoned students alike. It’s going into my lesson plans for next week:)

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