June 1, 2014

Quadratic Functions Unit

Well, my students and I have been in quadratic functions for quite a while now! Especially since our EOC testing fell in the middle of it all. 
I also feel like I did much better job this year with letting them explore/figure out the intricacies before we formalized in their notebooks. So, for example on the "factoring" pages, we spent a day just using algebra tiles to understand what was truly happening and the relationships between the numbers. Then we formalized. 
All that to say, quadratic functions took a long time! But my students really seem to have a good understanding.

So... here are my notebook pages.

Man, as I'm uploading, most are blurry. So sorry!! Silly phone camera :(

Our Learning Goals/SBG page.
I plan to implement SBG more next year and these pages are allowing me to dabble in the idea without fully committing yet.

Investigating a quadratic function for the first time...

Focus and Directrix pages from Sarah. The kids LOVED seeing their parabolas take shape in the wax paper. I know that focus and directrix aren't technically in my algebra 1 standards, but I just couldn't resist!

The same properties of quadratic functions pages that I did last year. Still worked well and still a hit!

Angry birds and vertex form. 

Standard Form and a summary page from here. I tweaked it a little to fit my needs. 

Here's a better picture of the summary page. 
Original idea and post HERE

Then the discriminant and quadratic formula.
The students and I derived the quadratic formula (yep, that ones officially in my standards) but I haven't taped it into my notebook yet. The big orange box is where it will be taped soon. 

The factoring and completing the square pages took multiple days and I wanted to give students plenty of time to explore with algebra tiles. I gave lots and lots of problems that students built and answered with the tiles before we ever formalized and talked about procedure. 

I really liked doing it this way because students understood the factoring method. We were un-doing the distributing and pulling everything back apart. There was so magic wand waving - just some great mathematical understanding happening. 

Also with completing the square. We built lots and lots of squares, filling the missing corner and then looking at side lengths and x-values before every going through just the process. 

Well, these are most of the pages! A lot happened in class between all those pages, so sorry I can't bring you in for that! Hope something helps!


  1. Thanks for sharing this! Here are two things I love:
    1. The way you define "a" is SO much more intuitive than "stretch" or "shrink" which is what my resources use. I've explained it in a similar way, but haven't defined it and written it down that way. I'm definitely stealing this next year!
    2. The arrows you drew on the vertex/standard/factored form chart make a lot of sense. Again, we did a similar chart, but those arrows would help a lot!

    1. Glad you liked it! :) I have students that say "rise over one" similar to the slope "rise over run" phrase! Ha! Love 8th graders!

  2. I am going to be starting INBs this year so I'm doing a lot of research and reading. I loved everything on here so far and it was such a surprise to happen upon the quadratic foldable I made. I'm really glad that you were able to use it and incorporate it into your INB! Thanks for all of the awesome resources and ideas :)

  3. Is it wrong that quadratics still make me shudder? lol


    Miss Jenny's Classroom

  4. All of this is great-is there a way to get the files?

  5. All of this is great-is there a way to get the files?