Unit Assessment: Polynomial Functions and Expressions

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Objective

Students will demonstrate facility with polynomial arithmetic and classification and mastery of all aspects of quadratic functions, expressions and equations.

Big Idea

Show that you are able to rewrite and classify polynomial expressions, use quadratic equations to solve problems, and express quadratic functions in various forms.

Unit Assessment: Polynomial Functions and Expressions

90 minutes

Students will use this period to complete Test Polynomial Functions and Expressions.  This assessment has a "calculator page" and a "non-calculator page" because I want to make sure that students know how to factor, graph and solve without the relying on the CAS (computer algebra system) functionality of our calculators.  As a math department, we have decided on a list of skills that students should be able to do without a graphing calculator so I am careful to assess these skills throughout the year. 

I give students both pages of the test at the beginning of the period and instruct them not to put their calculators under their chairs.  They may not use a calculator on the exam until they have delivered the non-calculator page to my desk.  This allows them to budget their time, as they can see the entire test at once.  Because the non-calculator page has a highly visible symbol at the top, it is easy for me to scan the room to make sure no student is using a calculator inappropriately. 

 

This test is designed to assess the Standards for Mathematical Practice as well as content standards.  I discuss this in the video, Assessing Math Practice Standards with Quadratics.

The test assesses the math practice standards in the following way:

MP1 - students must look for starting points, monitor their own progress and keep track of time remaining.  They are checking their solutions and considering whether their answers are reasonable.

MP2 - the application problems require that students decontextualize in order to represent the scenario with a function and use that function to develop a solution

MP3 - the initial two questions are writing prompts that require students to explain their conceptual understanding of this unit

MP4 - the application problems demand that students model financial and physics scenarios with quadratic functions

MP5 - students decide how much of the test to complete before surrendering the non-calculator page.  Forcing them to make this decision help students consider the best use of the graphing calculator

MP6 - The stems of the question contain content-specific vocabulary that students must make sense of and the conceptual questions require precise use of vocabulary

MP7 - Much of this exam assesses students ability to make use of the structure of an expression in order to rewrite an expression (factoring, completing the square),  solve an equation, or graph a function. 

MP8 - This assessment does not really address this standard because I feel that MP8 is not best addressed with tight time contraints.