Thursday, April 27, 2006

Slope and Y-intercept

In pre-algebra we are getting to some pretty tough material that is challenging for many students. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't make sense the first time (or second, or third...). If it were all easy, you would not need me to guide you! We could pass out textbooks at the beginning of the year and save money by not having teachers!

I found a neat applet called Playing with Functions that helps you see the relationship between the equation of a line and its graph. Click on the yellow button to enter the site. Choose "linear" under Function f (it may already be set there). Do not select anything for Function g (you will learn about that in Algebra I next year). A pop-up box shows the equation of the graph and gives you sliders to move that will change the slope and y-intercept of a line. You could put in an equation that you had to graph for homework and check your work. You could also play around with the values for m and b to see how changing them affects the graph of the line.

You can also download a graphing calculator that works somewhat like the ones we use in class. To graph with this calculator, you click on the Graph 1 tab and then type the equation beside y1. You can graph up to 10 equations at a time. I like how the color of each line is different.

If I find other resources that I think would help you to understand this topic, I will add them to this post. Happy Graphing!

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