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This post originally appeared on the blog Scaffolded Math and Science.

Of all Algebra and Algebra 2 topics, quadratics is by far my favorite. What I love most is that students start SO intimidated and by the end are old pros. So much growth happens during this unit. I love seeing my students grow more confident as they learn how to solve quadratics in different ways.

I’ve written a ton about quadratics on my blog and the activities we do during this part of our curriculum. In this post, I want to highlight a few fun Quadratic Formula activities.

First, I have to post this Quadratic Formula template that we use in class. It helps my students so much with identifying A, B and C and keeping all the parts of the equation intact as they move through it.

I print a bunch and leave them in the basket by my classroom door. Students know to take one on their way in and use it to solve the quadratic I shine on the board.

My friend Kara from Learning Made Radical and I have been working on these partner scavenger hunt activities. The one above is a new one for the Quadratic Formula.

Pairs of students get 2 clocks and 2 unique sets of cut-outs. Both partners start with their “START” cut-out. The quadratic functions are different but the answers are the same if both partners solve correctly.

If student answers are different, they work together to find the error. Once the partners settle on an answer, they look for this answer on the top of another cut-out. They then each solve their next unique problem until their answers match.

Displaying student work has worked really well in my classroom for boosting student confidence. We have “The Fridge” – an area where students can use magnets to hang their graded papers.

We use those super strong magnets so by the end of the year, piles are stacked on top of each other! It’s great. On days when a student may not be feeling very confident, it’s really nice to be able to point to the wall and say, “Yes, you CAN do it.”

I’m also just a huge fan of math class decor in general. Posters, word walls, anchor charts, lists of prime and square numbers, graph and function examples, anything that works to build student confidence, background knowledge and lower what I like to think of as “math affective filter” (ie: math anxiety).

This Quadratic Formula Pennant combines student work and classroom decor. Students get to color a little too, which is always fun.

My students like this solving quadratic equations chain activity because I build in extra credit. There are 12 quadratics to solve but I tell students they only need to solve 10 to earn a 100%. Most go on to solve more to get up to a 105%. I know, I’m cheap, but I can’t be giving out 120s! 🙂

Here’s my former student Omar holding up his paper chain. Please excuse the hideous word wall in the background… it has since been majorly updated!

In this post, I wanted to highlight a few fun quadratics activities. I wrote more about the activities we do in class, including the posters and anchor charts that help through this unit, in the post Fun With Quadratics.

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Shana McKay has been a TpT Teacher-Author since 2013. Teaching math to kids who are afraid of math is Shana’s passion, and every one of her lessons and activities is specially designed for students who struggle with self-confidence. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, a graduate degree in Mathematics for Teaching and is certified to teach math, biology, and students with moderate disabilities. Shana blogs at scaffoldedmath.com.