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Topic:  Slope Intercept Line Tool 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/1212/ 
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Subject:  Slope Intercept Line Tool 
Author:  Julee 
Date:  Feb 3 2004 
This tool is very good for exploring how changing the slope and intercept change
the graph of the line. It would best be used when students first explore the
slopeintercept form or for remediation with this form.
One discussion that I like to have with my students about lines is how does the
line move when the slope and intercept are changed. For example, is it moving
diagonnaly, straight down, or what. The interactive sliders can help students
quickly explore such questions.
I am surprised that the automatic options changes both sliders. It would be
nice if the user could designate which sliders to automate so a class could
discuss while in auto mode for one specific input.
For the beginning student it would also be good to have a display showing the
new equation with the selected numbers inserted. The struggling student has
difficulty making the entire connection.
I also wonder if the scale could be changed. For explorations with the
intercept, the fact that each line is an increment of ten makes reading the
intercept off of the graph nearly impossible when the slope is relatively steep.
My beginning students have greater success working with smaller numbers for
slope calculations too.
Another change I would like is to make it easier to set the intercept to a whole
number so that students can read more exact numbers off of the graph. Verifying
their understanding of the graph through calculations will help to paint a large
interconnected
picture of this concept.
Julee Lee
 
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