Student Work: Graphing Quadratic Equations Assignment Ball Bounce Activity

Graphing Quadratic Equations Assignment

Teacher Commentary:

The major objective of Station 4 is to understand the effects of "h" on the vertex form of the function. The students were asked to reflect their understanding on the worksheets as well as the wire and graph paper provided. Each station began with the parent function and was asked to perform the appropriate transformation and identify the key terms listed on the cover sheet for that station.

The team members of Station 4 seemed to have an understanding of the directions given. They were able to identify the y-intercept, x-intercept, axis of symmetry, vertex, and minimum for each parabola. The students were allowed to use their calculators to verify their information and to assist in summarizing the transformation taking place. The team members correctly summarized the effects of "h" on the parabola. The difficulty with the "h" transformation is that it appears to shift the parabola in the opposite direction from the students' expectation. This team was able to explain the effects of the "h" transformation, however, did not answer questions 7, 8, or 9. These questions were intended to lead the students beyond a superficial understanding of this transformation and to begin to think about why this shifting was taking place. The students' work shows they did not reach this level of understanding during the activity.

During the next table talk discussion and during their preparation for their presentations, they will have more opportunities to get this understanding. If this lesson was repeated, one change that might make this easier for the students to grasp would be to ask more leading questions to help them develop their explanation of why the graph appears to shift in the opposite direction from what they expect. Apparently, answering these open-ended questions was too much of a leap beyond their existing knowledge of transformations.

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