## Quadratic Introduction: Baseball Math

I recently was selected to be common core coach for TN for Algebra 2. I have tried to incorporate the philosphy into my classroom. I handed out the worksheet below and put the students in small groups. I had not spent any time in Algebra 2 on quadratics and I wanted to see what they remembered from Algebra 1. I asked them to work individually first. After approximately five minutes, I let them work together to answer the questions. I was amazed with what they could figure out without me having to teach a lesson. After 10 minutes, I asked different groups to come to the smartboard and present their findings. I had some students use their graphing calculators to find all of the answers. I know this seems bad to some teachers, but it was helpful for students who could not remember quadratics from Algebra 1. It provided them with a way to be successful. I had one group who remembered the quadratic formula and used it and found the vertex by hand. You can get the worksheet here.

I love teaching quadratics becasue of the real life applications. I need help with finding real life like the one above. I really want questions that can be solved using different methods. I’m trying to prepare for the new common core tasks. Does anyone have any good resources and wouldn’t mind sharing? Thanks.

There are some interest quadratic activities here: http://education.ti.com/calculators/timathnspired/US/Activities/?sa=1010&t=1179

They go along with the TI Nspire app that I just installed on my iPad! Also, the Exploring the Family of Quadratic Functions link (Excel spreadsheet) on this page has a neat baseball pop up simulation: http://academic.pgcc.edu/~ssinex/excelets/

I like your idea. It would be great if we could put a few ideas together for each topic in algebra and just have one complete course worth of lessons. I have some ideas on linear equations and systems as well.

Also, here’s an extension to that idea. What if you give the students the initial quadratic and a wall. Then ask them how the quadratic must change in order to get the baseball over the wall? Here’s me playing around with the idea using Desmos:

https://www.desmos.com/calculator/qgtmegvf61

I love this! I have been looking for a way to incorporate desmos. I am going to have to borrow this. I love having kids manipulate equations. That change just made this task jump from not bad to amazing! Thanks!