8.5 Functions and Volume

In this unit, students are introduced to the concept of a function. They learn to understand and use the terms “input,” “output,” and “function,” e.g., “temperature is a function of time.” They describe functions as increasing or decreasing between specific numerical inputs, and they consider the inputs of a function to be values of its independent variable and its outputs to be values of its dependent variable. (The terms “Independent variable” and “dependent variable” were introduced in grade 6.) They use tables, equations, and graphs to represent functions, and describe information presented in tables, equations, or graphs in terms of functions. In working with linear functions, students coordinate and synthesize their understanding of “constant of proportionality” (which was introduced in grade 7), “rate of change” and “slope” (which were introduced earlier in grade 8), and increasing and decreasing. Students perceive similarities in structure between pairs of known and new volume formulas: for a rectangular prism and a cylinder; and for a cylinder and a cone. Students rearrange these formulas to show functional relationships and use them to reason about how the volume of a figure changes as another measurement changes, e.g., the height of a cylinder is proportional to its volume; if the radius of a cylinder triples, its volume becomes nine times larger.
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