Vertex Form of a Quadratic Function

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SWBAT identify the key features of a parabola written in vertex form. SWBAT write a quadratic function in vertex form.

Big Idea

Students will relate the vertex form of a quadratic function to the transformation of the function y=x^2.


12 minutes

Guided Practice

23 minutes


5 minutes

I ask my students to work on this closing activity individually.  My goal is for the students to write down as many similarities and differences as they can without using their calculator to graph the functions.  

After a couple of minutes, I have students draw a horizontal line across each box.  Below the line, have them try to add to their list using their calculator to graph the functions.  Without using the calculator, I expect many students will make observations like:


  1. Both have the same vertex 
  2. Both have the same axis of symmetry
  3. Both are quadratic functions


  1. One graph opens up, one opens down


After viewing the graph on the calculator I expect students will add additional observations,s such as one function is wider/narrower than another. However, I am hopeful that they will be proficient enough with working from the equation that they do not experience too many surprises when they apply technology.