Exploring Parabolas
by Suzanne Alejandre
NCTM Standards: Objectives: Activity: Have students open the applet and get familiar with the controls. Note: It will open in a separate window. If you are displaying the page for students, arrange your browser windows so that the applet and the directions can be easily viewed. If students are working individually they should be encouraged to do this. The following equations are displayed on the the green graph:
The students' task is to match the correct quadratic equation to the matching parabola. As the students are trying to match the graph to the equation, the following questions may help prompt their thinking. Questions:
Once students have matched the equations to the corresponding graphs, their next task is to find the coordinates on the blue graph that control the location of any of the given parabolas. Questions:
Note: It will open in a separate window. If you are displaying the page for students, arrange your browser windows so that the applet and the directions can be easily viewed. If students are working individually they should be encouraged to do this. Questions:
Assessment: Have students generalize what they have observed as they have worked with the equations, the factored form, the roots, the graphs, and the coordinates (a, b). 
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