If you are an algebra teacher who wants to teach quadratic functions, here are 3 quick tips you need to know.
Tip #1: To Connect The Math Vocabulary To Prior Learning
Algebra teachers hear me closely on this tip: as the teacher, we must connect new information to prior learning for every lesson. During the connecting activity, I find it useful to ask the students what vocabulary we can find in this example. I like to start a list: function, function notation, domain, range, evaluate, maximum, minimum, etc.
As an algebra teacher, here's what I mean: as you help them recall this information, students will begin to see how all the mathematics is related and works together.
This tip will help algebra teachers because students often feel like they are learning something new every hour of every day. This strategy will allow them the time to understand that this is only building on something they already understand. This will greatly reduce the overwhelm and shutdown in your classroom.
To put this into action you should Download the free lesson plan and print or post the quick 10-minute activity and allow the students time to fill in the table and answer the questions. Then brainstorm the vocabulary needed for the lesson with your students.
Tip #2: Show The Problem Done Three Different Ways
This is all about the fact that when students make connections on their own, they not only own their learning, they are able to retain it longer and recall it easier. I am a huge believer in this method and I have personally seen the effects it has on my classroom. For quadratics, I find it helpful to have them find the vertex with a formula and graphing and then I have my students tell me which is the better method. And when is it the better method?
The most important thing to get understand this tip is when you put the problems on the board. I like to use a minimum of three. You can, as the teacher and guide, start asking questions to lead them in the right direction of understanding.
This is critical to your success because as the students realize the similarities they are gaining a concrete understanding of what the numbers mean in real context, not just in an algorithm.
Now the thing for you to do is to create a few problems where students can complete them in different ways and put them on the board. Create questions ahead of time to lead them along.
Tip #3: Use Real Examples
The key idea with this tip is quadratics are everywhere. Pull out as many real-world examples as you can and help students identify which arcs are really quadratic and those that are not. If you would like a list of 101 uses of quadratics this site will help you out: https://plus.maths.org/content/101-uses-quadratic-equation.
You need to understand this means students will begin connecting what they are learning to real-world solutions.
This will help anyone because as students feel more connected to their learning they will take more ownership of their learning.
My advice at this point is to find some examples near your school or town that students are familiar with and integrate them into your lessons.
Once you understand the facts about teaching you can move forward with confidence - and going through these 3 tips is a great start for any algebra teacher! But as you can see, this really is just the tip of the iceberg.
One more thing before I forget. Did you know, if you really want to teach quadratic functions, this amazing new free lesson plan "the free download Graphing Quadratics Lesson Plans and 9 others" makes it super easy for you! Check it out here https://highschoolmathteachers.com/optin-algebra-lessons/