Forming Quadratics: Math Assessment Project Classroom Challenge

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SWBAT Demonstrate their understanding of forming and creating quadratics through this classroom challenge developed by MARS.

Big Idea

Students complete engaging activities to assess their ability and level of understanding surrounding comparing and forming quadratic fucntions.

Pre-Assessment Activity

15 minutes

In this lesson, students review different forms of quadratics as a whole class.  I will begin class with the pre-assessment that I give as an Entry Ticket. (It could also be given for homework earlier in the week.) The latter has the advantage of providing time for the teacher to assess student understanding of the concepts in the lesson prior to teaching the lesson.

Teaching Note: Before beginning this lesson be sure to carefully review the MARS Classroom challenge lesson plan and resources (linked as a resource to this lesson). Make copies of the necessary cards for the card sorting - you could also laminate the cards to be able to minimize paper used and be able to have the lesson ready to go for multiple classes and years to come.  

Resources: Forming Quadratics Classroom Challenge

Forming Quadratics Classroom Challenge

60 minutes

During the middle hour or so of the lesson, students engage in the productive struggle of matching different quadratic equations to graphs of quadratic functions. In this domino game, students work together on creating different forms of quadratics and they have to be able to translate the quadratic functions to different forms (standard form, factored form, completed the square form) to reveal different key characteristics of the graphs.  

I like to break the middle portion of the lesson in this way:

First 20 minutes: students work in groups trying to match as many of the equations and graphs as possible. My job as a teacher during this time is to facilitate group discussions and to provide an appropriate level of support to each group. Some groups seem to benefit from me going through one example, while I model the process of matching by talking through my thought process with the group. 

Second 20 minutes: students focus on the task of writing the missing forms of the quadratic function based on the given information (other form of the equation, graph, etc.) 

Last 20 minutes: students focus on organizing their ideas and justifications for the different matches. In this section, I want each group to cite at least 1 piece of evidence to demonstrate their reasoning for matching a particular equation with a graph. 


Exit Ticket: Create Your Own Quadratic Domino Cards!

15 minutes

The lesson concludes with the Exit Ticket: Creating your own quadratic domino cards! where students create their own set of domino cards to match. I have each student create 1 match of cards to assess their understanding of forming quadratics. 

This lesson is challenging and for many classes I find I have to assign the creating their own assignment for homework as the MARs lesson does keep students engaged and challenged for a full 85-90 minute class. 


Mathematics Assessment Project (2012). Forming Quadratics: Mathematics Assessment Project Classroom Challenges: A Formative Assessment Lesson. Shell Center: University of Nottingham. Accessed online on May 26, 2014 at