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Discovering the Derivative Lab

Discovering the Derivative Lab

Author: Beth Barsness
Description:
  1. To develop the definition of the derivative of a function at a point by examining the slope of the secant line
  2. To define the slope of a function at a point by zooming in on that point (geometrical)
  3. To define the slope of a function at a point numerically by using the NDERIV function on our graphing calculator
  4. To define the slope of a function analytically/algebraically by finding the limit as h approaches zero.

Students will find a derivative analytically and geometrically (using their graphing calculator - nderiv).  Students will have previously studied the concept of a limit. This lesson helps students to understand why we need to understand limits. It is a direct application of taking a limit.

Length of time needed: 5 class periods

This lesson was written by Lana Golembeski.

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Tutorial

Lesson Plan

This lesson plan can be downloaded to your computer as a PDF document. If you would like to edit this document for your classroom needs, go to the "Handouts and Materials" section and click on the corresponding link.

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Source: Lana Golembeski

Handouts and Materials

The following files can be downloaded to your computer:

Lesson Plan (Word document)

Discovering the Derivative Lab Worksheet (PDF document)

Source: Lana Golembeski