Student Work: Graphing Quadratic Equations Assignment Ball Bounce Activity

Ball Bounce Activity

Teacher Commentary:

The class was given a warm-up activity to bring focus on their prior knowledge. Students were asked in the warm-up activity to graph the given vertex form of the quadratic function without using their calculator and to write the function that corresponds the given parabola. This student was able recall the effects of a, h, k, and the sign of a, to correctly flip the parent function, shift it 3 units to the right, and up four units. This understanding will be necessary for the student to complete the ball bounce activity and present the results to the class.

The major objectives of the ball bounce activity are for the students to use data collection to model parabolas and to use their prior knowledge to develop quadratic functions that will describe the motion of these parabolas. The students were expected to use the Calculator-Based Rangers (CBR's) to collect height versus time data and to use their calculators to graph the data they collected. The students were then expected to use their knowledge of transformations to create several quadratic functions in vertex form that, when graphed, will trace over the ball bounce data collected with the CBR. This activity provides an opportunity for the students to apply their prior knowledge and for the teacher to assess the skills obtained from the previous lesson.

Once a student is able to get the first two bounces, the remaining bounce equations are determined from the same steps used in these first two bounces. Team 2 understood this process so well that they decided not to answer the questions for bounces 3 through 6, even though they were able to demonstrate these bounces during their presentation. While their answers to a few questions were incorrect, their presentation received high marks on their teacher and peer grading rubrics. Therefore, this team performed better in the oral communication than in the written form.

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