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Topic: A variety of uses
Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/13171/


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Subject:   RE: A variety of uses
Author: Pinch
Date: Apr 30 2009
On Apr 28 2009, ALeG wrote:
> 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 TI-84, 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 y-intercept 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
slope-intercept equation.  Certainly would make y = mx + b less abstract.

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