Discussion:  All Topics 
Topic:  A variety of uses 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/13171/ 
Post a new topic to the tool: Understanding Distance, Speed, and Time Relationships Using Simulation Software discussion 

Subject:  RE: A variety of uses 
Author:  Pinch 
Date:  Apr 30 2009 
> On Jan 20 2009, chamada wrote:
> This tool will do all of those
> things that you say very well (and it
> can probably do more if we
> think hard enough!). But, I think the
> real power of this tool
> comes from the fact that it puts y = mx + b
> into a context that
> the students can understand. I can make the
> exact same graphs on
> numerous other technologies (my TI84, online
> graphing
> calculators, there's even one for the iPhone!). The simple
> fact
> that it uses icons to represent the runners or that it refers
> to
> the starting point rather than yintercept allows the students to
>
> make a connection. It is then easier to make that leap to abstract
> > notation (algebra) rather than to start straight into it. Not only
> > are we teaching the content, but we are also make further content
> > accessible.
I like the notion of putting y = mx + b in
> context. Coicidentally we will be doing the equation of a line next
> week in prealgebra. My kids are ninth grade, but the fact thay they
> are still in prealg at this point means they really need a lot of
> visual help and I need to be as concrete as possible. I think this
> will help.
I also thought this would help my students better understand y = mx + b. I plan
on having students experiment with the parameters, create a table of integer
values from their graph and then figure out the function rule or equation for
each line. Hopefully with guided discussion, they can "discover" the
slopeintercept equation. Certainly would make y = mx + b less abstract.
 
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