Focus and Directrix Lesson in Algebra II

This year, we are providing unit trainings to help understand and dive deeper into our curriculum. Our curriculum is modeled after the UbD format and since this is new for some teachers, we wanted to provide time to get comfortable with the structure and also walk away with actionable plans for the classroom. I am overseeing the Algebra II curriculum and for my first unit training, I chose to do Unit 4 (Graphing and Writing Quadratic Equations). Within that unit, I decided to model a lesson from TEKS 2A.4B: write the equation of a parabola using given attributes, including vertex, focus, directrix, axis of symmetry, and direction of opening (RS). This is a Power Standard for our district and after planning with teachers throughout the years, I felt that we could benefit from more understanding and aligned materials of focus and directrix. To create these materials, I spent time reading and analyzing the standards within the unit and then explored and did assessed items from our item bank. Below is what I created and would love for anyone else to use in their classroom.

  1. The warmup we started with was modeled after Which One Doesn’t Belong to generate a recall/preview of vocabulary. I created the four images from the Desmos activity students will be doing after.Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 9.36.02 AM
  2. After the warmup, we moved into a Desmos activity that I found and edited on the Teacher Classroom Activities. I had participants do this independently for the first few minutes and then I told them to partner up and close one person’s computer. It was so cool to hear the dynamic change to rich conversation and collaboration as they partnered to discuss their learning. In the lesson, I added in a few slides like our Learning Target and Success Criteria for students to mark which ones they knew before and which ones they felt they understood after the lesson as well as some slides using Notice and Wonder statements. It was awesome to see 100% of participants felt confident (and felt their students would be confident) in knowing the Success Criteria after the lesson. I loved the way Desmos set up this lesson to explore the key vocabulary before we followed up with writing the equations. Click here for the link to the Desmos exploration activity.Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 9.56.20 AM.png
  3. To solidify the learning of the vocabulary and provide direct instruction on writing equations, I created notes and practice. A preview is below, but click here for the student materials: Algebra II Notes and Practice QuadraticsScreen Shot 2019-09-30 at 9.41.18 AM.png

Let me know if you have any questions and when you use any of these materials in your class, I would love to hear how it goes!

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About ashleytaplin

I am a secondary math specialist in Texas. I taught for 8 years before becoming a specialist in 2017. I graduated in 2009 with my Bachelors in Arts in mathematics from Trinity University. In 2010, I graduated with my Masters in Arts in teaching also from Trinity. In the summer of 2013, I traveled on a Fulbright scholarship to Germany and learned a lot about curriculum, diversity, and differentiation. I love empowering teachers to build on their strengths and helping students make connections to what they're learning. When I’m not working, you’ll find me with my two boys and my husband who is a teacher and coach. We love exploring the city and enjoying foods.