Education Technology

Polynomials

Published on 08/02/2005

Activity Overview

This Computer Algebra System (CAS) activity encourages students to investigate the characteristics of a polynomial of the first degree, second degree, third degree and fourth degree. Students analyze the expressions, expand them, and graph the polynomials of various degrees.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 1 - 4 from the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Find the rules for the given polynomials
  • Enter a cubic expression, expand it, and graph the function
  • Graph the functions for different values of x
  • Find the number of times the graph cuts the x-axis
  • Determine the zeros of the graph of polynomials
  • Examine the relationship between the zeros and the graphs of the function
  • Repeat the steps for quartic functions
  • After the Activity

    Students' answer questions on the Activity sheet.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary