In this speed dating activity students will work with a variety of partners to connect graphical and analytical representations of polynomial functions and their zeros. A main focus of this activity is communication.
Prep: Arrange the desks into concentric circles (Option 1) or a straight row (Option 2), where two desks are always facing each other as shown.
Print the problems and cut them up, placing one problem on each pair of desks, randomly. We suggest printing all the graphs on one color cardstock paper and all the equations on another color. Print the recording sheet for students to keep track of their work. Alternatively, you could have students work on mini-whiteboards. You will need a timer as well.
Play: The card on the set of desks should only be viewed by one partner. Their job is to explain to their partner the features of their function in a way that will allow their partner to write the corresponding graph or equation. If Partner A has a graph, Partner B must write the equation WITHOUT looking at the graph. Partner A must explain what is on the graph and help Partner B figure out how to translate that into an equation. If Partner A has an equation, Partner B must sketch a graph, WITHOUT looking at the equation. Partner A must explain the features of the equation and help Partner B figure out how to translate that information into a graph. Spend the first half of the activity having group members on the inner circle (if desks are arranged in concentric circles) or the left row (if desks are arranged in rows) holding the card, then switch for the second half of the activity. We recommend giving about 3-5 minutes for each “date” before having students switch desks to work on a new problem with a new partner. If your desks are arranged in circles, let the outer circle move clockwise and the inner circle move counterclockwise. If you have rows of desks, have one side move toward the front and the other move toward the back. Students on the inner circle will remain in the inner circle for the entire activity, as will students on the left or right side of the row.