Deriving the quadratic formula is probably one of the most challenging tasks an Algebra 2 student will have to complete during the year, and without a doubt, one of the most frustrating!
When the day arrives to derive the formula, I tend to make a big deal out of how difficult the day is going to be, how frustrated they will become, and how proud and excited I will be if they don't give up; how proud THEY will be if they come close to the end. I also give out TONS of encouragement and of course lots of help.
I let students go mostly on their own, with some guided notes to help as they struggle through the class period, and I wander around helping students as they are working and discussing the task with their peers.
Each year, I continue to be amazed as they take on this difficult task, trudge through it, hurt their brains and continue on! Each year, among and beyond the frustration, there are high fives, congratulations and proud moments of accomplishments!
**The guided notes with entrance and exit tickets that I use with students are available to fans of my FB page "The e Elephant Loves Math" for FREE (for a limited time only), and can also be found in my TpT store.