Last year, I taught my kids to graph parabolas, and to solve all those drop a ball off of a balcony problems.

And they did horrible at it come test time^{1}.

I don’t have a complete answer to the word problems yet, but they knocked the graphing questions out of the park. The trick is that, on the test, you either get one graph and four choices of equations to match it to, or one equation and four graphs.

This is a series of worksheets, designed to take up just part of a class period every day for two weeks. I’d hand them out in the last 8 or so minutes of class, and make them tickets out. I’d also insist that students fill in the relevant information that let them distinguish between their choices.

The early worksheets are simple, requiring only happy/sad and y intercept to differentiate the choices. Later worksheets require more knowledge.

It turns out that the incremental requirements between these sheets was perfect for my students – everyone could get the first couple, and it introduced new ideas just quickly enough that they could adopt them and use them effectively.

The win was that they could use the knowledge from these worksheets not just to ace the test, but to quickly be able to predict what a graph for an equation would look like, or what they should expect when finding an equation for a graph.

^{1} Our district does quarterly tests that tend to be pretty good predictors of how the kids will do on the CST. I find it useful to have that feedback, since I have no idea what the CST questions are, much less how the kids fail at them.

## { 12 } Comments

I love these for several reasons:

Thanks for sharing. I’m inspired :)

. …..math is so very hard….why math is so very hard?

….plz make it essy so that students will understand it ..

…to all syudents study hard lang tah para dili ta ma bagsak….jejejejejejejej major major

The worksheet link isn’t working. I’d love to use this. Can you fix the link, or email me a copy, please? (suevanhattum on hotmail) Thanks!

I’m with Sue – I’d love to use these but the links aren’t working. Can you e-mail them to me, too? It’s kristenfouss at yahoo.

Thank you!

Fixed!

That’s awesome! Thanks!

I love the idea, but the link is not working. Could you fix it again? Thank you for posting your ideas and sharing your worksheets.

Is there a key posted for this?

I would just like to say thank you for sharing these. I am one of only four teachers in my math department (15 people total) that seems to do any real work making worksheets and activities for kids. I’m only a year 5 teacher, but it’s still tough and time consuming thinking of new ideas. I don’t get much shared with me by other teachers because most of us don’t teach the same classes. I am sure my Algebra kids will benefit. They were laughing at me when we were doing an activity yesterday and I kept referencing the happy/sad face, so I’m sure they’ll be glad to see them on this worksheet too. :)

can you tell me what software you used to create the worksheets? I am looking for something similar, but for linear graphs. Or do you already have something like this you could send me?