# How can I introduce the concept of functions, or function machine to 4th graders. what kind of manipulatives can I use?

Oct 8, 2014 3:11am

math, patterns and functions

• Math
• 4
• Common Core

3

• Nov 1, 2014 11:19pm

Try a function machine... it is a box with two slots in the front. One labeled input and one labeled output. The students puts in a number on a card into the input slot and the person in the box puts out a number through the output slot. The person in the box should do the same thing to the number every time they get a number, like add one or multiply by 2 or subtract 5. The class can even try to guess the rule after a few input/output trials.

In the world around us there are numerous functions. Most machines perform a function. A washing machine, a dryer, a refrigerator. They perform a function. For example a washing machine. We put in dirty clothes and get out clean clothes. If we get out dirty and clean clothes the washing machine is not performing the function correctly. Just like a function for every input there is a only one possible output. If you get two different things out of the machine it is not "functioning" or working properly.

• Nov 2, 2014 3:59pm

You can light the candles near to the statue of Mother Mary in our church by putting quarters in the central box. when you put one quarter, two candles light up and for two quarters you see 4 candles . Number coins is the out put and the number of candles is the out put.

• Nov 2, 2014 4:00pm

You can light the candles near to the statue of Mother Mary in our church by putting quarters in the central box. when you put one quarter, two candles light up and for two quarters you see 4 candles . Number coins is the input and the number of candles is the out put.