Education Technology

Exploring the Vertex Form of the Quadratic Function (Precalculus Application)

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

Students explore the vertex form of the parabola and discover how this form shows both the location of the vertex and the width and direction of the curve. They predict the location of the vertex of a parabola based on the quadratic function.

Before the Activity

  • Install the Transformation Graphing Application on the calculator using one of these two methods:
  • TI Connect™, a TI Connectivity Cable, and the Unit-to-Unit Link Cable
  • TI-Navigator™  "send to class" feature
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 29 - 37 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Start the Transformation Graphing application
  • Graph a quadratic equation on the calculator and record the coordinates of its vertex and the direction in which the curve opens
  • Enter the general vertex form of a quadratic equation and identify the relationship between the values of A, B, and C (the coefficients) and the vertex and magnitude of the graph
  • Observe the direction in which the graph opens, and determine the maximum / minimum values
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Student Worksheet and answer questions listed in it.

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