Skip to Content

Different Forms of a Quadratic Function Foldable

My Algebra 2 students created this different forms of a quadratic function foldable to glue in their interactive notebooks. For the first day of this lesson, we created the foldable and wrote the names and formulas for each form of a quadratic function on the outside.

We didn’t take any notes on the inside of the foldable on Day 1.

different forms of a quadratic function foldable

I modeled how to create/label the foldable on my SMARTBoard.

This foldable, by the way, is made from a single sheet of paper that has been cut in half hamburger/taco style.  Lay the two layers of paper on top of each other.  

Scoot the top layer up an inch or so.  Bring the top of the paper down to bottom of the paper to create four flaps.  Staple.  Take notes.  Enjoy.

smartboard file with illustration of different forms of a quadratic function foldable

Here are the names of the forms.  Here are the formulas.  

Then, I asked students: What do you notice?  How can you tell them apart?  

Vertex form has parentheses.  Doesn’t intercept form have parentheses, too?  

The parentheses in vertex form have an exponent of two.  Now, we’re getting somewhere.  

Intercept form will always have two sets of parentheses.  Will it?  Are you sure?  

They continued throwing out ideas on how to tell the different forms apart.  I’m kinda glad I had them have this conversation as a class before we ever started trying to classify quadratics by their form.

This isn’t all we did on Day 1. Before creating this foldable, we got into groups and practiced matching up the parabola cards from our decks of conic cards.

This year, I feel like I did a WAY better job with quadratic functions in Algebra 2.  Way better.  Let’s be honest.  It wouldn’t take much to do a better job than last year.  

Last year, I didn’t even teach my students the names for the different forms of a quadratic function.  We did all our graphing using the calculator last year, so I didn’t think it really mattered.  

This year, I made it my goal that students would identify the form of a quadratic function first.

We started out Day 2 by playing a few rounds of the Different Forms of Quadratics Flyswatter Game. Then, we went back to our foldables.  

We added in instructions on how to graph quadratics depending on their forms.  

Vertex Form of a Quadratic Function

different forms of a quadratic function foldable

The bottom of each section contains important information about the equation and its graph.  The top of each flap contains an example.

Intercept Form of a Quadratic Function

different forms of a quadratic function foldable

Standard Form of a Quadratic Function

different forms of a quadratic function foldable

After we created this foldable, we went back to the functions from the flyswatter game.  Again, we would determine the form.  

But, this time we had the necessary tools to graph the function.  We graphed the functions on mini dry erase boards, and students held up their boards to be checked.

student graph glued into interactive notebook.

One day, we were practicing graphing quadratics in various forms.  I intended for this practice to be done on dry erase boards.  

But, one student asked for graph paper so that she could keep these practice problems in her notebook.  I had some small graphs left over from an Algebra 1 activity, so she stapled these together and glued the practice problems in her notebook.  

How awesome is that ?!?


Tuesday 18th of September 2018

Will you send my the flyswatter game info, please? You have awesome ideas!

Mrs Maixner

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

I was wondering if there is anyway I could get a copy of the fly swatter game ( I think my kids would love it!! Thanks for all of your sharing!! I love your blog!!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

I don't have a copy of the questions I created for that game any longer. Sorry! Thanks for reading my blog!

Deidra Colclough

Thursday 22nd of September 2016

I used this foldable over two days. We played the flyswatter game before filling it out, and also after. The kids love it and want to play it again today on the third day. Thanks for a simple and fun activity that reinforces learning!


Wednesday 30th of September 2015

Have you ever taught them to convert it to vertex form (completing the square) where the vertex and everything else is easily spotted?

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 2nd of October 2015

We don't really do a lot with completing the square. I know I need to do more, though!

Kristen B

Sunday 16th of August 2015

Hi Sarah, I've been reading your blog for a while now and you have a ton of awesome ideas! This year will be my second year teaching! Last year I taught each form separately and I really don't think it went well at all! It took far to long to get through all the graphing and students never got the chance to really compare all three forms side by side. I really like this idea of teaching graphing all three forms together. I think I am going to try it this way this year!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

Hope it works well for you!

Comments are closed.