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Parent Functions Card Sort Activity

I created this parent functions card sort activity for my Algebra 2 students. This activity is intended to give students practice matching equations, graphs, and tables. It also introduces them to the concept of a “window” on the graphing calculator.

parent functions card sort activity.

I actually ended up giving this to students on their very first day of using the graphing calculator. That was probably a mistake. I should have spent much more time walking students through graphing functions and changing the window before giving them this card sort. Lesson learned.

This card sort introduces students to the following parent functions:

  • Quadratic
  • Radical
  • Polynomial
  • Exponential
  • Rational
  • Logarithmic
parent functions card sort activity

Close-Up of Card Sort Equation Cards

parent functions card sort activity

Graph Cards

parent functions card sort activity

Table Cards

parent functions card sort activity

Window Cards

parent functions card sort activity

I had students staple their piles together and glue the back card down in their notebooks.

Free Download of Parent Functions Card Sort Activity

Parent Function Card Sort (PDF) (1317 downloads )


Monday 5th of October 2015

Hi, I have tried to share this before, but I don't think it ever loaded. Since Finding Nemo came out I have used DIXI DORY. I have students think of dory from Nemo on a little bathroom cup from Dixi (I omit the e). I have had teachers at the high school ask who came up with that because they saw it on their students papers and never asked. It stuck with them and it worked! Just keep swimming.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Monday 5th of October 2015


Mrs. Pertierra

Friday 29th of May 2015

I'm curious as to how you would teach many of these things without a calculator. Something we've been struggling with this year is that our new EOC has one section that is completely no calculator, and for the other section they can only use scientific calculators... I would be afraid to teach using the graphing calculator, but then they're not able to use them on the giant assessment (30% of year grade)

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Saturday 30th of May 2015

Well, for finding roots, solutions, zeroes, etc, students would need to factor the polynomial and apply the zero product property. I have my students do this later in the year when we study quadratics. So, I teach them calculator and non-calculator methods - just not at the same time if that makes sense.


Wednesday 13th of May 2015

I love the domain and range foldable!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Thursday 4th of February 2016

There are links to both in this post:

Christine Mishra

Thursday 28th of January 2016

Do you have downloadable files for that foldable and the graphs?

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Thursday 14th of May 2015

Thanks! It was inspired by the Journal Wizard!

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