Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaBloPoMo #4: Lesson Planning ... the many vs the few

Today we continued our work on attributes of quadratic functions.  I wanted to take students through a number of examples - but I also wanted them to have time to practice in class.  Here was my agenda:

1.  Warm-UP ... share your birthday parabola with a neighbor.  Explain the key attributes - intercepts, vertex, equation.

2.  Take a trip down memory lane ... how to multiply binomials.  First we made a connection to multiplying double digit numbers like we did in elementary school.  Then we practiced multiplying binomials vertically and horizontally - stressing the process of using the distribute property.

3.  Rewrite the vertex form of the quadratic function as the standard form.

4.  Uncover the clues hidden in each form of the equation.  What do a, h, and k tell you about a quadratic function in the vertex form?  What do a, b, and c tell you about the function in the standard form?

5.  Connect skills to problem situations - students worked with classmates to explain transformations and to analyze simple situations with graphs.

Most students ended class well!  There are a few who have difficulty connecting each step in class.  So ... they can multiply binomials but when I ask them to change the vertex form of the equation to standard form, they give me the deer in the headlights look.  Or ... we analyze a parabola from an equation - and then from a graph.  I ask them to then work on the coin problem above ... and they say, I don't know where to start.  Again ... this is the few, not the many.  BUT I want to reach ALL students!

I'm thinking about how to help students create steps for themselves ... about to decipher their notes to develop steps to success!

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