Parabolas in Math

This week in math we are working on graphing parabolas and learning about quadratic equations. Today, students played a game called Polygraph Parabola on Desmos, which is similar to the the game “Guess Who?” from my childhood.  Students notice and name important features of parabolas by playing a game with a classmate. One student picks a parabola from a set of 16; the other asks YES/No questions to try to narrow the pool down to one.

It was amazing to see the student’s vocabulary grow and watch as the questions evolved to be more specific using math language such as vertex, x and y axes, and symmetry. Here’s a screen shot of the types of questions that were asking. Students had to identify important features of the graph and then describe these features. Some of the descriptions were in their questions and others got physical and were gesturing across the room to their guesser, using arms and body language to help each other.  It was not only hilarious, but they were also talking and motioning about math! They loved it!

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