My algebra students have been studying transformations of quadratic functions – most specifically, how does changing “a” and/or “c” in a quadratic function written in the form y = ax^2 + c impact the graph when compared to the graph of the parent function f(x) = x^2?
Students have had a lesson, homework, and a chance to examine graphs using graphing calculators and/or Desmos, but some students still weren’t “seeing it”.
Inspired by this blog post, I used Desmos to create a “Quadratic Chain” activity. Tonight is a “no-homework night” across our district, so I felt that devoting the last 20 minutes of class to this cooperative task would be a good wrap-up.
Boy was I wrong.
It was… an AMAZING wrap-up! Why?
I was absolutely beaming as I walked around the room, watching students compare, discuss, disagree, and A-HA all over themselves! Boy did I underestimate this one. It was great, and I will do it again! We even created a “gallery” for our “chains” on the wall outside my classroom. Quite retro chic if you ask me. 😉
Here’s the file if you’d like to give it a try! My only wish is that the numbers on the axes were a little larger, but it didn’t seem to impact the activity today one bit.
Here’s a thorough explanation about how this type of activity works.