Math Mondays: Quadratic Function Graphs Make Funny Faces

think math is fun (yes, even Calculus!).  My students may not always agree.  We work hard and play hard.  Lots of "play" occurs in projects, but even when taking notes, we have a little fun like our recent graphing of quadratic functions.

Graphing quadratic functions is basically a step-by-step process.  Graphing can be a bit boring, especially as their are many calculators and online websites ( is one of my favorites) that can do the job for us.  Still, part of being able to interpret quadratic function graphs as models requires students to also understand how they are constructed.  

First, students used their interactive notebook pages to take notes and practice the steps to graphing. We worked on both graphing from a quadratic function in standard form and from vertex form.

After the graphs were created, we had some fun.  The challenge was simple...give your graph a little character.  The faces were a big hit.  It was fun to see how some students made some dastardly faces while other faces were quite cheery and goofy.  

With "characters" of the assigned graphs fully explored, students wrote and graphed their own quadratic functions.  It was fascinating to see how students wrote functions intentionally for narrow chins or upside down parabolas that were wide to form mustaches.  Most importantly the students left with their own smiles (and some skills, too!)  What will your class make from their quadratic functions?

Math Mondays 
is a bi-weekly blog post (2nd and 4th Monday of each month) sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching math.  If you have questions or think there is something I should include, you can leave me a message in the comments section below or at the store in the question and answer section.