Reflection: Grappling with Complexity The Parabola (Day 1 of 2) - Section 3: Developing the standard equation


Most students scan the definitions and skip the proofs in books. Yet, reading mathematical proofs and definitions is a form of literacy. It is important that students learn to reason through proofs and definitions, so they will be prepared for independent work involving mathematical concepts and practices. With this in mind, instead of just showing my students the proof, I use a literacy-based approach to scaffold the opportunity for my students to engage in MP 3 (Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others). 

Doing this type of instruction does take time and students can get bogged down with all the variables when analyzing the proof for a parabola but working as a team the students start to see the how the standard equation is connected to the definition and a diagram.


  Grappling with Complexity: Reading Proofs in Class
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The Parabola (Day 1 of 2)

Unit 5: Conics
Lesson 3 of 13

Objective: SWBAT use different key features of a parabola to solve problems.

Big Idea: Why does the equation of a parabola have only one variable squared?

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2 teachers like this lesson
Math, quadratic equations (Precalculus), distance formula, conic sections, parabola, paper folding, patty paper constructions, Conics
  40 minutes
parabola  psf
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