Education Technology

Parabola Graphing: Completing the Square - Standard Form to Vertex Form

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

This document is designed to either introduce or review how to use "completing the square" to rewrite an equation of a parabola from standard form into vertex form.
Standard form: y = a*x^(2) + b*x + c.
Vertex form: y = a*(x - h)^(2) + v.
Four different examples will be given. Every step is clearly illustrated.
The reader is encouraged to do the problems on paper while studying this document.

Before the Activity

This activity can be assigned as either an introduction to using 'completing the square' to graph parabolas or as a review for students who have unfortunately forgotten this exciting technique.