I love letting the kids write on their desks. Dry erase markers easily erase off the desks in my classroom. Sometimes I give the kids markers and have them work problems on their desks instead of using scratch paper or white boards. It's so funny in my honors class because you can tell that they feel like they're being bad, but getting away with it. It's so funny to watch at the beginning of the year.
Anyway, we just started our unit on polynomials in my Algebra 2 Honors class. We finished the lesson about quadratics (vertex, axis of symmetry, etc) about halfway through class. So, I made them put all of their notes and calculators away, but I left this on the board.
Then, I passed out markers and had the kids (in pairs) practice matching graphs and equations. I used this activity by Caryn Loves Math on TeachersPayTeachers as a springboard.
The students were given graphs, equations in standard form, and equations in general form. I also had them list the following information to go with each graph:
- axis of symmetry
- opens up/down
A lot of them finished in less than 20 minutes. They were superstars. My crazy, bouncy sophomores can work fast! I really liked the activity and want to use it again next year. I'm going to laminate the sheet with the graphs so that they will last longer :)