Behavior over time graph


  • Behavior over time graphs can be used for many purposes besides mathematical functions. You can have students predict what a graph will look like before they actually make the graph; you can ask them to analyze a story and graph the suspense or happiness of a character; you can ask them to graph their own behavior compared to some agreed-upon norm. A quick glance can tell you a lot about what the students are thinking. Graphs that are not what you (the teacher) would expect can reveal misconceptions or particularly creative mental models.
  • Graphs can be qualitative or quantitative. The only absolute is that time increases on the x-axis. Remind students that not all graphs are linear.


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  1. Waters Foundation (description and many nontraditional examples)
  2. Water Foundation WebEd (a complete module on BOTG)
  3. Systems Thinker (description and example)
  4. Creative Exchange (a variety of lessons)