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ERIC Number: EJ1036861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
An Unexpected Influence on a Quadratic
Davis, Jon D.
Mathematics Teacher, v107 n3 p212-218 Oct 2013
Using technology to explore the coefficients of a quadratic equation can lead to an unexpected result. This article describes an investigation that involves sliders and dynamically linked representations. It guides students to notice the effect that the parameter "a" has on the graphical representation of a quadratic function in the form f(x) = ax[superscript 2] + bx + c, and understand why this effect occurs. Students engaging in this activity develop a deeper understanding of quadratic functions. This investigation uses dynamic sliders connected to quadratic function parameters and the symbolic manipulation capabilities of a computer algebra system to understand this complexity. In the process, students develop a deeper understanding of the quadratic function concept and the connections among its graphical, standard, and vertex forms. Knowledge that is rich in connections is more likely to be retained by students (Bransford Brown, and Cocking 2000), and the explorations into the effect of parameters described here helps prepare students for more advanced mathematics topics. In addition, this article embodies a strategic use of technology as advocated in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Standards for Mathematical Practice.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A