This year, I didn't teach it to them to the tune of quadratic formula. Instead, I gave them the paper, let them freak out a bit and try to memorize it on their own. A few students remembered their older siblings singing the song and filled the rest of the class in on how it went. That was fun to see. :) I also told them to check out YouTube to find a version of the song that would help them remember it.

Yesterday, I knew I wanted to create a notes template that would help them organize their work. In the past, I've done a Tangram Puzzle for them to cut and paste in their notebooks.

This was cute, but my I found my students need A LOT more help with setting up the problems than I have given in the past. So, I whipped up this template on my planning period:

I inserted it into a quick booklet foldable with two example problems for my students to work through.

My students seemed to understand where the a, b, and c came from much easier with this template. Of course, they freaked out a bit when the imaginary numbers came into play...

After working through the practice problems, I set each group up with a Quadratic Formula Question Stack Activity. The cards I use are hand-written because I made them last year before I had a computer template, so I don't have a set to share. Sorry! (But, you can learn more about Question Stacks here.)

I decided at the last minute that I should make them a dry erase template to help set up each problem. I just cut and pasted the template from the notes onto a blank document and increased the font.

They weren't pretty, but they worked. We slid them into these dry erase pockets to make them erasable and reusable.

The kids insisted we get out the red/yellow/green cups so they could indicate when their group was having trouble. The thing that I liked the best from this was that when a group was having problems, it was super easy for me to figure out if they had even set up their problem correctly since that's where I find most errors occur when working with the quadratic formula.

I tweeted a picture from this lesson, and John Golden suggested using different shapes for a, b, and c.

Of course, I had to pretty-up my dry erase template for the future, so I created two versions.

Version 1: Regular Rectangles

Version 2: Different Shapes

All files can be found here.