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Estimating Points

Sometimes, the point you want to graph is in between points that are marked on the axes. When this happens, you must estimate where to put your point.

For example, let's help Sam graph (5, 13) using these axes:

Sam always starts graphing at the origin. (Sam is very small in this picture, so that you can tell where he is more easily.)

tiny Sam at (0, 0)

The x-coordinate of the point is 5, so Sam needs to find 5 on the x-axis. 5 is exactly halfway between 0 and 10, so Sam moves between 0 and 10.

Sam's stomach at (5, 0)

Next, Sam must find the y-coordinate, 13. He knows that 15 is halfway between 10 and 20. 13 is a little bit less than 15, so Sam tries to put his point a little below the halfway point.

Sam's tongue at (5, 13)

Sam labels the point so we can tell exactly where it is.

point (5, 13)

When you draw your own graphs, you can pick the scale to make estimating easier. Would (5, 13) have been easier to find if our scale counted by hundreds? What about fives?


Please send questions, comments, and suggestions
to Ursula Whitcher

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