Graphing Linear Equations

Date January 2006
Class 8th grade
Teacher Patti Bailey

Linear Exploration
I used the missing values and stacking cup activities.  These were both great activities that made it easy for them to determine other values.  These were relatively quick activities.  Next year, I think we could add another one to the mix.  This went smoothly, in part, because we had already done scatter plots that were positively and negatively correlated, so they were used to predicting ranges.  This was a little easier since there were specific points.  They caught on to the slope quickly.

Date December 2005
Class 8th grade
Teacher Patti Bailey

Stories to graphs and Graphs to stories.

Students first relate graphs to stories by matching a story to it related graph.  I then gave them a graph and they wrote a story to match it.  It was really difficult for them to see that when someone is sliding down a slide that the graph was going up because we were talking about the speed.  That was great for them to see this correlation.  This was an activity where the ‘book smart’ kids got to learn from the others.  It was a great boost for some students. I will use this activity again.  It was very helpful in having students interpret graphs.  For future classes, I will be on the look-out for more examples.

Date November 2005
Class Algebra 1
Teacher Alicia Klaassen

Graphing Linear Equations on a TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator Lesson 
Main Goal:  To introduce graphing linear equations on a graphing calculator to beginning users of the graphing calculator.      What I did: 
I talked through the beginning part of the worksheet and had the students fill in the blanks as we went along.  I did this so that I knew they were following along.  Then we went through the steps and the buttons we needed to use on the calculator.  We then did the two example problems together.  After I felt like they were ready, I had them work individually on the rest of the problems as I walked around and helped them.  I made sure to visually check a few of each student's problems to make sure that they were working the problems and graphing correctly before they were finished for the day.  [Note:  I could have used small groups also, but today chose otherwise.]
What the students learned: 
I am always surprised at how quickly students pick up on calculator use.  They seemed to like the calculator and feel comfortable using it.  The students learned how to graph linear equations, choose a proper viewing window, and look at the y-intercepts of graphs. 
What I would change next time: 
I think that this activity went well.  I would make sure to re-stress how important it is to understand linear equations and how they represent different kinds of lines, or the information on the calculator or elsewhere is meaningless.