Hip to Be (Completing the) Square

Build a square physically, with representations, and, finally, algebraically. The lesson plan takes the class through the concept of completing the square first concretely, secondly by using representations, and finally via abstract methods. Building upon recently learned concepts, pupils complete the square to find the vertex of a quadratic and determine whether it is either a maximum or minimum.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Lead a mini-lesson on how completing the square can also be used to solve a quadratic equation
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires cutting out squares for the concrete portion of the lesson
  • The class should have a general understanding of quadratics and how the leading coefficient affects the graph
Pros

  • Provides a PowerPoint to illustrate the concrete instruction of completing a square
  • Includes teacher notes for the sections of the lesson
  • Contains answer keys
Cons

  • Some of the mathematical equations do not show up completely, either the variable or the exponent is missing