Q&A #10489

Graphing: discrete vs continuous data

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From: Linda Shidell <LShidell@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Feb 05, 2003 at 09:54:03
Subject: Graphing: discrete vs continuous data

I am using the Connected Math series from Prentice Hall.  The module is 
Variables and Patterns.  Students are learning coordinate graphing. The 
teacher's manual doesn't make it clear when to connect the points in the line 
and when not to.  However, the question is repeated throughtout the text, "Is 
it appropriate to connect the points?"  I'm having a hard time explaining this 
concept to seventh graders.  Can you help?

In one instance, bicyclists miles are being plotted on a graph with time on 
the x axis, and miles on the y.  The points are connected.  In the next 
problem, bicyclists are traveling away from a particular city.  Again time is 
on the x, and miles on the y.  However, in this case, the points are not 
connected. The explanation given is that it's the miles away from the city 
that is being graphed, not the number of miles traveled by the cyclists.  This 
isn't clear to me.

Thank You,
Mrs. Shidell
Grade 7 Plainfield Central School

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