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How to Graph Quadratic Functions in Vertex Form - video, free cheat sheet and free task card activity

My wonderful husband got me a whiteboard for Christmas so that I could start making math teaching videos. After taking a few days to get everything set up, all the while wondering where to start, I decided to work my way through my math cheat sheets and make companion videos, starting with Algebra 2.

In this post is a video example of graphing quadratic functions in vertex form, a link to a free math reference sheet to go along with the video, and a link to a free vertex form quadratics task card activity.

Towards the end of the video is a shortcut for graphing vertex form quadratics with a pattern instead of a table.

Quick story: When I made the switch from my desk job to teaching, I was subbing in the Boston Public Schools and also interning with a video production company. The internship was unpaid, so I made the deal to take the first job that opened-- full-time teaching or paid video editing. Teaching opened up first and the rest is history. This kept my parents happy, too. Still, I always missed the creativity that came with editing videos. Math is creative too, but you know what I mean. So I am excited to combine the two by editing math videos. It's been a bit, so I'm rusty! But I'm excited for the challenge.

If you've read my blog before, you've probably read how much I love algebra. I love the growth students make in the subject and the patterns that form. I love how nervous kids are when they start the school year, then the confidence that builds in them knowing they can do hard things.

My hope is that you will be able to use my videos as a supplement in your classroom on a sub day, in a flipped classroom for kids to watch at home, or as a way to bring algebra 2 to your homeschool classroom.

Below you'll find links to the video, a free math cheat sheet on graphing quadratic functions in vertex form and a free pdf task cards activity.

Videos:

Here's a super short video showing how to graph a quadratic in vertex form:

And here's a longer video with more explanation that I added to the original post back in 2020. Can you tell by the look on my face I filmed this video mid-pandemic? Tough times. Towards the end of the video is a cool pattern that arises when graphing vertex form quadratics:

1. Super cool!!! I'm always looking for videos for my higher kids. BTW, we have vertex form in Algebra 1.
AND - So fun to see and hear you!

1. I always forget how similar algebra 1 and 2 are these days! Thank you for reminding me. Can you tell I was a little nervous? Back in the day I was only ever behind the camera. But I'll work on it! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

2. Just ordered several bundles of your work for my Math7 and Algebra 2 students!! The quality is exceptional. I am excited to see how my students will embrace them. We are still in remote learning mode so I am always looking for ways to engage them.

1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate that. If you find yourself needing any activities to complete the bundles, I'd love hearing from you. shana@scaffoldedmath.com

3. AnonymousMay 18, 2022

This is a great activity that I'm excited to use. Thank you! One question: what does it mean on your sheet: Inside + Right, Inside - Left, Outside + Up, Outside - Down?

4. Just a quick edit...Inside - Right, Inside + Left. This is a cheat for remembering that addition inside the (parenthesis) will send the vertex left (and subtraction inside the ( ) will send the vertex right). This is because we're looking for the value of x inside the ( ) that will make that ( )^2 = 0.

For example, if we have (x - 4)^2, x = +4 to make ( )^2 = 0. So x is a +, sending it right on the coordinate plane.

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