Tes ROTW: Quadratic skills problem solving

Craig Barton
13th May 2019

Practice pupils' quadratic skills by tackling this quadratic problems resource by Chritsopher

What is it? 

One problem I have found many students have is pulling different skills together. Take quadratic equations and graphs, for example, students can be good at factorising expressions, good at completing the square and be good marking on y-intercepts and so on. The problem comes when they need to combine all these skills together; if maths is only practised in nice tidy boxes, students can come unstuck.

This is where this wonderful activity comes into play. Over the course of a big A3 poster, students must use their knowledge of all things quadratic to fill in the gaps. This requires them to work forwards and backwards, practising key skills and solving problems along the way.

How can it be used?

This is an ideal revision activity. The following skills are covered:

- Finding the Equation
- Finding the y-intercept
- Finding the shape
- Discriminant
- Factorisation
- Roots
- Completing the Square
- Max/Min
- Sketch

When presented with just one piece of information, students must think really hard about what they need to do to work out the rest. I have found this activity to be well suited to paired work as the potential for fruitful peer to peer discussion is high. It also lends itself well to be presented alongside Desmos so students can see their predictions and solutions brought to life. Finally, whilst designed for A Level, with a bit of tweaking, it can easily be adapted to higher tier GCSE groups.

Thanks for sharing, 

Craig Barton

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