Quadratics Keywords Poster

I wanted to make a quick reference for the keywords of quadratic word problems. The poster above is the one I have been using for a few years now and it has been so helpful. It highlights the vocabulary students will see in word problems asking for the time to maximum height, the maximum height or the total time in the air. 

Before introducing word problems, I teach my students how to find maximums and zeros of parabolas on the graphing calculator. This poster helps so much with tricky "left bound" and "right bound" and hangs as a permanent part of our math word wall

Before ever introducing equations during our word problems unit, we do this quick quadratic keywords sorting activity. It gets students looking for the keywords that will signal whether they are being asked to find the positive zero or a value at the maximum. Then it's time to introduce the equations. 

Projectile Motion warm up template

I love this rocket launch template and use it for a warm up during this unit. I shine a word problem on the board and each student grabs a template from the warm-up basket. Students then find maximum height, a good graphing calculator window (my students need a lot of practice on this), time to reach maximum height, maximum height and total time in the air. They then sketch their graph. We talk about how everyone's graphs could look different - and how they are all just as right - based on the window.  

Projectile Motion warm up template

Here is an example of the template all filled out. I give 1 point for each correct answer if I feel it's a good day to award some credit (ie: kids are starting to slack off!).  

This might be a big controversial, but I do not like tests. In just a few short weeks, my students go from never having touched a graphing calculator to finding how long an object is in the air, and this is TOTALLY AWESOME. I don't want a bad grade on a test to take away from the confidence my students have built. So instead I asses with task card activities

Quadratic Word Problems Task Cards {trinomials}

Students are allowed to work together and ask me questions. They can also use their reference sheets and our word wall. One of my students this year asked if he could take his task cards home to work on! This made me feel good!

This Quadratics bundle contains a good variety of activities covering quadratics. Each is also individually linked for download. I write more about the activities we do in or entire quadratics unit in the blog post Fun with Quadratics.

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