Students learn math concepts best when discovering mathematical patterns on their own rather than being told by the teacher. This activity is designed for students to discover how to graph polynomials in factored form. It covers quadratic, cubic, and quartic polynomial functions
1. Students have learned the basics of functions
2. Students have learned functional notation
3. Students have been introduced to polynomial functions
4. Students know how to graph a function by hand given a table of values
Students are asked to use the online graphing program Desmos to graph a series of polynomial functions written in factored form. They then are asked to look for patterns that will help them to sketch a graph of these same functions by hand.
Students use the online graphing program Desmos to graph a series of cubic functions in factored form. They are then asked to look for patterns and then asked to sketch a graph by hand of other cubic functions. This process is extended to quadratic functions and then is repeated for quartic functions.