Feb 202017
 
Intercepts and Asymptotes and Holes, Oh My!

I've been teaching for 27 years. This morning during a discussion of rational functions in a precalculus class, I had one of those why-didn't-I-think-of this-years-ago moments, when I found myself drawing a Venn diagram on the board in response to massive confusion about holes. My hypothesis about why the analysis of rational functions can feel so overwhelming to beginners [...]

Mar 192015
 
Fresh eyes on end behavior of rational functions

Over the past few years of teaching precalculus regularly, I've experimented with a variety of approaches to rational functions in an attempt to find one that will result in students discovering and eventually truly understanding how the equation of a rational function determines its graph. I have never felt very successful. Too many students get confused somewhere along the way, come to [...]