A hands-on approach to studying quadratic functions emphasizes the engineering design process.
Donna M. Young
Students often view questions about polynomials—finding the zeros of a polynomial function, solving a polynomial equation, factoring a polynomial, or writing a polynomial function given certain properties—as discrete, unconnected processes. To address students' confusion about the many directions given for working with polynomial functions and to enable them to gain a true, conceptual understanding of polynomial functions, I created a graphic organizer (see fig. 1).
G. Patrick Vennebush and Diana Mata
Students analyze items from the media to answer mathematical questions related to the article. This month's clips discuss misrepresented formulas.
Readers comment on published articles or offer their own mathematical ideas.
To introduce sinusoidal functions, I use an animation of a Ferris wheel rotating for 60 seconds, with one seat labeled You (see fig. 1). Students draw a graph of their height above ground as a function of time with appropriate units and scales on both axes. Next a volunteer shares his or her graph. I then ask someone to share a different graph. I choose one student with a curved graph (see fig. 2a) and another with a piece-wise linear (sawtooth) graph (see fig. 2b).
Lorraine M. Baron
Assessment tools–a rubric, exit slips–inform instruction, clarify expectations, and support learning.
A paper-folding problem is easy to understand and model, yet its solution involves rich mathematical thinking in the areas of geometry and algebra.
Michael J. Bossé, Kathleen Lynch-Davis, Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi, and Kayla Chandler
Teachers can use rich mathematical tasks to measure students' conceptual understanding.
Heather Lynn Johnson, Peter Hornbein, and Sumbal Azeem
A computer activity helps students make sense of relationships between quantities.
Jon D. Davis
Using technology to explore the coefficients of a quadratic equation leads to an unexpected result.