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This excel program contains a series of interactive spread sheets designed to explore the concept of a gradient of a curve.

The first activity illustrates that the gradient of a function, at a point P, is the gradient of a chord PQ as the length of PQ tends to zero. The equation of the quadratic can be adjusted. The summary sheet summaries the findings for a particular example encouraging the student to deduce the formula for the gradient function.

The Function>Gradient activity provides the formula of 8 function, a mix of linear and quadratic, for students to differentiate to find the gradient function. Clicking on the empty cell reveals the answer.

The Gradient > Function activity requires the student to work backwards to find the original function given the gradient function.

The final activity provides a further opportunity to explore differentiation from first principles.

The workbook contains a further eight worksheets providing further questions for use in the classroom.


This program was designed by be viewed on a screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768. Users may have to adjust the resolution of their screen for the pages to display as was originally intended. The program uses macros which need to be enabled on a user's machine.

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