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Graphing Quadratic Equations - Problem 4

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Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

If your parabolic function is in vertex form, y = a(x - h)^2 + k, and if you have practiced graphing with changes to a, h, and k each individually, then you are ready to put all of the transformations together. Begin with a sketch of the parent parabola, y = x^2. A negative "a" will make the parabola open down, if the absolute value of "a" is greater than one, then the parabola will get skinnier, and if the absolute value of "a" is a number between 0 and 1, then the parabola will get wider. A change on "h" represents a horizontal shift in the counter-intuitive direction, and a change on "k" is a vertical shift.

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