I introduced the quadratic function to year 10 by trying to model the path of a basketball through the air. I introduced the lesson with this PowerPoint, Basketball Quadratic Curves, then reminded them how to construct sliders on Geogebra so that they could try to find a best-fit quadratic. (Basketball Quadratic Curves Worksheet)

I did wonder whether introducing quadratics with a negative coefficient of x² would be confusing, but the class seem to be able to recognise the difference between a ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ quadratic without any problems.

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