Fun with Quadratics

fun quadratics activity
He did it!   My most difficult student to
motivate completed 7 links!
I freaking love quadratics. What Math teacher doesn't love teaching kids how to factor? It's the best and my favorite unit in all of Algebra 2. I love it most because once a student finally understands how to factor, the golden "OH, I get it now!" comes out, which is what we all live to hear as Math teachers.

Students love choice!
When I first started using choice in my classroom I didn't think it would really make much difference. It does! Students are so much more motivated and bought-in when they think they have a say about the work they are doing. To lighten the mood a little, I decided to give my students a "choice" for our quadratics practice activity. It's a "choice" because they still needed to solve 10 quadratics, but they were given 12 to choose from. Students chose which equations they did and didn't solve, and it really didn't matter to me which they choose to do as all problems offered the same amount of practice. All students were bought-in and it was so refreshing to feel after so many days of being stuck in the mud.

Algebra 2

The activity
For the activity, students solved quadratic equations given to them on 12 strips of paper. I was lazy and didn't cut them out ahead of time, but this actually worked out great. My students liked the hands-on aspect of getting scissors and cutting the strips. See? Sometimes laziness pays off.

No, I'm just kidding. It was a happy accident.

All of the equations were factorable but my students usually chose to use the Quadratic Formula. They are OK when A=1, but when it doesn't, panic starts to set in and they all bust out their calculators. When a student completed a problem, I was able to quickly scan the QR code with my QR scanning app. NOTE: high schoolers will try to sneak a download of a scanning app right in class. Watch out! :)  Once an answer was right, the strip was cut out and turned into a ring with a stapler for their Quadratics Chain. My grading plan is to award 10 points for each correct link. Students can earn extra credit if they successfully completed the 11th and 12th links. We had a lot of fun and it defiitely showed me that choice is a great motivator in my classroom.

a is not 1

Let's collaborate
And if you'd like more secondary Math ideas, why not follow the Math Grades 7-12 Pinterest board? It's chock full of ideas to bring directly to our classrooms or pin for later reference. 

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