Students will discover how to translate y = x^2 vertically, horizontally, and reflected over the x-axis.
Before the Activity
Students should have access to either the TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus family of calculators.
During the Activity
Have students log into the TI-Navigator system. Then have them Exit Apps, go to y = and graph the parent function y = x^2.
Perform a screen capture. It is a good idea to start with this screen capture to make sure that the entire class is able to graph with an appropriate WINDOW. At this point, one could instruct individual students if needed. If the class is comfortable, leave student names visible. I find this makes it easier to have student participation. Ask the class to write an equation that would move y = x^2 3 units up. (I gave no special instructions when I did this.) After a few moments, refresh the screen. Look to see if any student was able to translate the parent quadratic up 3 units. If so, ask them to share the equation they used. Summarize information for the class. Look at the other graphs that were captured. Have students share the equations they used to produce their graphs. With one screen capture, you should be able to discuss many different translations.
Repeat the original instructions to the class and ask everyone to translate the parent quadratic function up 3 units. This time everyone in the class should be able to do this. Continue with this type of discovery, asking questions and performing screen captures. These are some of the questions I used:
1. Translate a quadratic down 2 units.
2. Translate a quadratic to the right 3 units
3. Translate a quadratic to the left 4 units
4. Translate a quadratic both to the left 2 units and up 3 units
5. Translate a quadratic so that it opens down, but has moved up vertically 5 units.
After the Activity
Send a learning check quiz on translations of y = x^2 to the class. After taking the quiz, the class can view questions and answers as a slide show. The teacher can save results using Class Analysis.