Activities to Teach Students to Complete the Square

Completing the square is an important skill for high school students to learn in Algebra. This process involves manipulating a quadratic equation in order to rewrite it in vertex form. This skill is integral to understanding the shape of parabolas and solving quadratic equations. However, it can often be a difficult concept for students to fully grasp. Below are activities that can help teach students how to complete the square.

1. Interactive Whiteboard

One good way to start teaching students to complete the square is to use an interactive whiteboard. This tool allows teachers to demonstrate the process step-by-step while also allowing students to participate in the process. Teachers can use their finger or stylus to write out examples and explain each step in detail. This encourages students to follow along and ask questions as needed.

2. Card Sort

A card sort activity can also be helpful for students to practise completing the square. Create a set of cards which have quadratic equations on one side and the completed square equivalent on the other. Students will need to match the quadratic equation with the correct completed square equivalent. The activity can be made more challenging by removing the completed square equivalent from the cards and having students write their own.

3. Quizzes

A great way to assess student understanding is through quizzes. Create a quiz that includes a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions that cover the steps involved in completing the square. This will give students an idea of what they’re doing well at and what they need to work on. You can also give students quizzes that demand them to work out multiple quadratic equations by completing the square.

4. Jigsaw Activity

A jigsaw activity is a great way to encourage collaboration and peer teaching. Assign each student a specific step in the process of completing the square. Once everyone understands the process, have them work with their classmates to solve quadratic equations. Each student can then teach the next person in their group the step they were assigned. This helps students to fully grasp each step of the process and improves their overall understanding of completing the square.

5. Virtual Reality

Using virtual reality technology can allow students to more fully visualise parabolas and the process of completing the square. Students can wear a virtual reality headset and manipulate quadratics and parabolas for a more interactive learning experience. This is especially beneficial for visual learners who need a more dynamic learning experience.

In conclusion, there are many activities that can help teach students how to complete the square. These activities range from interactive whiteboards to virtual reality technology. Whether it’s through group work or individual quizzes, students can benefit from a variety of different methods to increase their understanding of this important algebra skill.    

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