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Growing Your Understanding… Exponentially!

The resources in this playlist will help students gain an understanding of the characteristics and behavior of exponential functions, how they appear in equations, graphs, and tables and how they relate to linear functions. Students already familiar with linear functions can apply their knowledge in this introduction to exponential growth.  

Explore Exponential Growth by Folding Paper | LearnZillion*

Students make predictions about the thickness of folded paper vs. stacks of paper to reinforce an understanding of the rate of growth of an exponential relationship.

Avi & Benita’s Repair Shop | Desmos

Invite students to explore the relationship between linear and exponential growth in the context of calculating how much they’d be paid working at Avi and Benita’s auto repair shop.

How Folding Paper Can Get You to the Moon | TEDEd

Invite your students to witness the unbelievable potential of exponential growth. This video demonstrates how simply folding a piece of paper 45 times can be your ticket to the moon and is a great follow-up for the previous activities. 

Polygraph: Exponentials | Desmos

Here’s another way to build on a prior understanding of linear functions and rates of linear and exponential growth. This interactive game will help students gain the vocabulary they need to discuss graph features related to exponentials.

Linear vs. Exponential Growth | Khan Academy

Share this video with your students to continue examining how linear and exponential growth relate to one another, using various descriptions of real-world situations according to the type of growth they describe.

How Do I Graph an Exponential Function?...with Zombies!!! | MashUp Math

In this The Walking Dead-themed video lesson, students continue to explore the properties of exponential functions and are introduced to exponential equations. They’ll discover the math behind a zombie take-over.

The Gossip Problem | Better Lesson

School gossip is a real problem…and a math problem too. In this engaging lesson plan, students will use the context of how gossip is spread to compare linear and exponential functions using multiple representations in order to determine which type of function will exceed the other as the grapevine grows larger.

Extension Activity: Population Explosion | CK-12*

See how scientists use functions to predict how quickly populations of plants and animals grow. 

Eboni Hogan

Content Specialist

Eboni has extensive experience in curriculum development, with a focus on culturally-responsive and arts-based approaches. Having spent years creating academic content and providing professional development to teachers, she now curates themed playlists meant to provide educators with valuable, time-saving resources.

Common Core Standards

F.LE.1  Distinguish Between Situations That Can Be Modeled With Linear Functions And With Exponential Functions.

F.LE.1.a  Prove That Linear Functions Grow By Equal Differences Over Equal Intervals, And That Exponential Functions Grow By Equal Factors Over Equal Intervals.

F.LE.1.b Recognize Situations In Which One Quantity Changes At A Constant Rate Per Unit Interval Relative To Another.

F.LE.3  Observe Using Graphs And Tables That A Quantity Increasing Exponentially Eventually Exceeds A Quantity Increasing Linearly, Quadratically, Or (More Generally) As A Polynomial Function.

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