Don’t Keep Stringing Us Along: An Exponential Growth & Decay Activity

Shhh!!!! Don’t tell my husband I wrote this post! This has been my life since Saturday:


Is it necessary to say that I am exhausted?!!  My hubby and I found a new place to stay since we are closing on our house in less than two weeks! Yikes! 🙂 I love our new place, but it has left me with ZERO time to do anything else other than the necessities. My husband didn’t agree that blogging and blog reading is a necessity, so I got a bit of a hard time when I tried to pull out my computer.  So don’t tell him I’m writing this post! 🙂


My students did an activity today with my Algebra I classes that I LOVED and the students did too! I didn’t get a chance to take pictures actually I forgot to take pictures- but it turned out awesome.  Using a piece of string, students demonstrated both exponential growth and decay. It was awesome to create this activity. I call it Don’t Keep Stringing Us Along.

Students create tables, graphs, and wrote the equation for two different exponential functions. To start, the students folded a string in half and cut at the fold. They folded those two pieces of string in half and cut at the fold again to create 4 strings. They repeated this step again to create 8 strings, and again to create 16 strings and so forth to represent the exponential growth.  To represent the exponential decay they wrote the length of the string for each cut. It started as 16 inches, cut in half to be 8 inches, which was cut in half to be 4 inches, which was cut in half to be 2 inches and so forth to represent the exponential decay.

I was a little surprised to find that the students didn’t want to keep cutting the string once they figured out the pattern. The fact that it was hands-on was the best part of the activity! I guess they are to ‘old’ for activities like that.   Anyway, here are pictures of the assignment:
Exponential Function Exploration Activity_Page_3

Exponential Function Exploration Activity_Page_4After reading their answers to the discussion questions, it made me realize that I must give more questions like these. It is so helpful to see their responses. I can get a better picture of whether or not they truly grasp the knowledge and it also is an excellent way for them to practice conveying/explaining their thoughts to other people. Some students have such a hard time realizing how they should be communicating their thoughts. They think we are mind readers!

Because of the move, this cute pooch felt a little neglected:

UntitledSo sad! Makes my heart melt! I made sure to love on her lots tonight.


2 thoughts on “Don’t Keep Stringing Us Along: An Exponential Growth & Decay Activity

  1. Oooh! I like the idea of getting data points for exponential growth AND exponential decay at the same time. This is brilliant! I’m definitely adding this to my list of activities to implement next year. Thanks for sharing!

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