Two Step Rules in Function Tables - Input Output Tables Task Cards

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Tessa Maguire
Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Resource Type
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9 pages
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Tessa Maguire
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  1. Accessing Algebra builds algebraic thinking through exploration of equations, function tables, patterns in numbers, and equality. Students write and apply one-step and two-step equations given models and data tables. By focusing on models and tables, these task cards feel like number and logic puzzl
    Price $18.99Original Price $24.00Save $5.01


These input/output task cards give students the opportunity to identify two step rules or patterns using any operation. In these task cards, students don't have to complete any missing values - just identify the rule or pattern that fits the data table. But, the challenge is in the two step rules students need to identify!

Input/Output tables help students work with patterns and relationships between numbers. With these task cards, students should start by identifying what they think the rule is (moving from input to output) by looking at the first row. Then, they should check their work by ensuring it’s also the rule of the second row. By integrating algebraic concepts in elementary classrooms, students develop math reasoning and computation skills while applying number sense, logic, and algebraic thinking.


  • 28 task cards
  • Recording sheet
  • answer key

A great extension is asking students to apply the rule to new numbers. These are also a great opportunity to introduce variables to students. Function tables such as these help students understand that a variable stands for any unknown number, rather than just a specific missing number in an equation. So, rather than identifying the rule as x 2 + 1, for example, students can identify it as n x 2 + 1, furthering the algebraic connection.

I intentionally left these task cards and the recording sheet somewhat open ended. This allows you to tailor your directions to match your students’ readiness levels. You can have students just identify the missing number write an equation, and/or use a variable.

If you have not worked with input/output tables previously, students will likely need some instruction for beginning. Once it’s introduced, these are a great extension for fast finishers, and even high ability students.

These task cards are great for:

  • whole class instruction
  • small group instruction- both guided or independent
  • fast finisher extensions
  • high ability extensions

These task cards are part of my Accessing Algebra line. Accessing Algebra is designed to focus on applying algebraic thinking with our existing standards, giving students the tools they'll need for success later. By looking at the standards in a new way, students build a deeper understanding of the standard while also building their critical and algebraic thinking.

Other Input/Output Tables Activities:

Applying Two Step Rules in Function Tables - Input Output Tables Task Cards

Mixed Operations Input-Output Tables Task Cards - Applying Rules

Mixed Operations Input-Output Tables Task Cards - Rules in Function Tables

Other Accessing Algebra Activities

Writing & Solving Two Step Equations to Models Task Cards

Multiplication Facts Balancing Equations - Missing Factor Task Cards

Writing & Solving Multi Step Equations - Balancing Equations Task Cards

Writing & Solving Two Step Equations - Balancing Equations Task Cards

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Total Pages
9 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Identify arithmetic patterns (including patterns in the addition table or multiplication table), and explain them using properties of operations. For example, observe that 4 times a number is always even, and explain why 4 times a number can be decomposed into two equal addends.
Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule. Identify apparent features of the pattern that were not explicit in the rule itself. For example, given the rule “Add 3” and the starting number 1, generate terms in the resulting sequence and observe that the terms appear to alternate between odd and even numbers. Explain informally why the numbers will continue to alternate in this way.


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