Function machines are an excellent way to help children with the early stages of algebra. The number that is put into the machine is called the input and the number that comes out is called the output. The function machine will always carry out the same operations in the same order. For example, the machine might input a number, multiply it by 2 and then add 1. If the input was 4 the output would be 4 x 2 + 1 = 9.
The input number could be any number and rather than saying ‘the input number’ each time we can just call it n.
If n is the input number we can write the output as n x 2 + 1. Algebra!
Take a look at our latest function machine pages and all our other Year 6 algebra worksheets.