Sunday, March 31, 2013

Line Week! Slope, slope, slope....

Slope & lines, lines & slope.  It is  truly one of the most important concepts in Algebra - if truly understood many things are easy, if simply memorized it leads to many forgetful problems.  So with that thought in mind I am setting up "Line Week" -- like "Shark Week" - except cooler and many more attacks resulting in gruesome death (students love the joke...).

So I made the joke(s) last week, and now I sit here Sunday morning trying to create the lesson that really results in students understanding of slope, intercepts, etc.  I teach 8-12th grade - so these students have seen (and forgotten) lines, they have been using x,y tables to plot points and create lines -- but with no real world understanding of slope etc.  {You may think what kind of person promises "line week" without a plan...  - well I do!  Lines are important and it is time for lines!}

I have spent the last 2 hours combing the internet for something (and if you pictured Mel Brooke's Space Balls combing the desert you're my kind of person) and have really not found anything amazing.  I have founded some fun songs - that I may use once they understand.  And some good worksheets, I may use those once they can do at home alone (in a month) for practice.  But nothing that really ties Rise over Run to y =mx + b....

My plan is to use a stair step example that I read about on I Want to Teach Forever, but then I want to tie slope and the slope-intercept equation.  It is units that will do it!  Perhaps it will be dollars per day for slope, thus using x as days - mx will become dollars...  b is dollars initial and thus with some practice the two will make sense.  That is the tie, seeing that mx and b are the same units (thus like terms).  Then zero slope is no money, and undefined slope is winning the lottery.... or being robbed.....

Hopefully there will be another post of something amazing, or at least acceptable...  Cause from combing the internet there seems to be very little that teaches the concept - just simply the procedure.