Thursday, April 9, 2009

Solving Quadratic Equations by Graphing Mini-Project

Here's a simple, tiny alternative assessment for solving quadratic equations by graphing:
Finding Zeros Mini-Poster Project
  1. Graph one quadratic function that has two zeros (create one or use one we did in class).
  2. Show how to find the zeros using a table.
  3. Show how to find them using the graphing calculator’s “zero” function.
    • Buttons to press
    • What to do when it says “Left bound?” “Right bound?” and “Guess?”
  4. Mark the zeros on your graph clearly.
Alternately, you could ask students to graph three equations: graphs with one, two or no zeros. I also stress that solutions, zeros, x-intercepts and roots are all different words for the same thing, and you could have them work it into the title of their posters.

This project can be scaled up or down (a huge poster vs. a single piece of graph paper) and easily incorporated into a larger unit on the various methods for solving quadratic equations.

As always, share your related ideas in the comments!