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Input-Output Tables | 3rd Grade - 4th Grade Version

This song will show you how you can use input/output tables and number expressions to create number patterns following a given rule. The NUMBEROCK crew are given a series of numbers as they make predictions about which numbers will come next if the pattern continues.

Input Output Song Lyrics:

We’re in a hot air balloon going up to fly;
a table shows our time and height in the sky.
At one minute, We're three meters off the ground;
at two minutes, We're six meter’s up, staring down.
At three meters, We're up nine meters high.
What’s the "rule" that shows our place in the sky?

If we multiply any input (the time) by three,
we'll get the output (the height); so that’s the "rule," you see.
In goes four, out comes twelve;
in goes five, out comes fifteen.. swell!
In goes six, out comes eighteen.
The "rule" is "times three," and the view is pristine.

Chorus: What’s happening between the in and the out?
We can always find out without any doubt.
Make an educated guess, and test it out,
'til you find out what the "rule" is all about.

I had a function machine, the best one ever seen.
I put in a nine, and out came a three;
I put in fifteen, and out came five.
Then, twenty-seven went in, and out came nine.
There’s only one thing I want to know at this junction.
What on earth is my machine's function?

If you divide any input by three,
You'll get the output; so that’s the "rule," you see.
In goes six, out comes two, for sure;
in goes twelve, and you know out will come four.
This input output table has a "rule."
It’s "divide by three.” Man, that’s pretty cool.

When there are two sets of values, and they share
a mathematical relationship, there's a function there.
And we can use our mind - a mathematical tool -
to find and describe the relationship, called a “rule."

Learn More

This song targets TEKS (4.5B) and Common Core (4.OA.5) learning standards from 4th Grade. Look into the relevant standards here, or dig deeper into input-output tables here.

If you are interested in getting ideas on how to plan a robust standards-aligned Input/Output Tables (one step) lesson, we recommend checking out Instructure's recommendations for common core standards 4.OA.5. These pages help break down standard language, lay out the grade-appropriate level of rigor for each concept, and offer a variety of suggestions for activities (lesson seeds) that help students achieve their learning targets.

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