# Teaching Slope – Fun Activity Idea

Slope is an important topic for pre-algebra, 8th grade math, and algebra.  I was trying to come up with a new idea for practicing slope and I came up with the following:

I made 32 cards with ordered pairs on them.  All of the coordinates of the ordered pairs are between -3 and 3.  I plan to use these cards in a couple of different ways so I am going to print them on card stock and laminate them to keep them nice for future use.

• Quick Entrance or Exit Activity: Give each student a card.  Have them pair up with another student and calculate the slope of the line that connects their two points.  Have the two students find the slope independently and then compare.  They should work together to identify errors if they got different answers. Then repeat with another partner.
• “Making Slopes” Activity: Give each student a card and a worksheet (download link is below).   Put the extra cards around the room.  The worksheet specifies different slopes that the students have to make.  Students need to walk around the room and find an ordered pair that, when paired with their ordered pair, makes a line with the given slope.  (They can use other students’ ordered pairs or the extra ones around the room.  It is important that ALL 32 cards are accessible to the students so that they are able to find an ordered pair for each slope.)  Once they find one that works they need to “prove” that they are right by plugging the two ordered pairs into the slope formula (showing their work) AND by graphing the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane to show the rise/run.

Here’s an example for the ordered pair (-1, 1):

I am excited about the making slopes activity for the following reasons:

• It gets the kids up, out of their seats, and moving
• It is more of a challenge and requires higher level thinking than questions that simply ask students to find the slope of the line that passes through two points, so it should be perfect for my Pre-Algebra (advanced) math class
• It can easily be turned into a game/contest by seeing who can find all 5 ordered pairs first or who can find the most in a given time period

I haven’t actually done the activity yet with my class but I am hoping that it goes over well.  I welcome any thoughts or suggestions for the activity in the comments.

Want to try this activity with your class?

I have a bunch of other ideas for ways to use the ordered pair cards for different lessons (not on slope), too, that I will write about in future blog posts.

Christina

## 11 thoughts on “Teaching Slope – Fun Activity Idea”

1. says:

do you have an answer key?

1. says:

No, sorry. There isn’t just one right answer for this activity so I don’t have a key.

2. Michael says:

Wonderful, will try it today. Thank you

3. Deborah Goodrich says:

This is awesome! I was looking for a way to review slope with my students and these activities are perfect. Thanks so much for sharin.

1. says:

4. Vince Bove says:

This is fantastic! I’m starting to make my own answer key (I know there will be multiple answers for some problems, but it’s a start) and I noticed one problem so far. If a student has the (3, -2) card, the only ordered pair that will work to get a slope of 1 is (2, -3), but that isn’t one of the cards on the worksheet.

1. says:

Wow – nice catch! I will amend the cards to address this next time I get a chance. (If you plan to use the cards before I get a chance to fix it I would say to just make sure a student does not get that card…it can be one of the extras around the room). Please let me know if you notice any other issues!

Thanks,
Christina

1. says:

It is a great idea, but there are more cards which do not have correct ordered pairs available as cards to be able to get the slopes listed. For example, the point (3,1) needs (4.-1) for a slope of -2, and also needs (5,2) for a slope of 1/2 . Although a neat activity, it was frustrating for our special needs students in our co-taught class to have this happen to them. I will also be working on an answer key, and would appreciate it if someone gets one done to please post it on this site! Thanks!

1. says:

SO TERRIBLY SORRY! I was mistaken about the (3,1) card. I should have known better; the students had not calculated the slope correctly! The card/point (-1,-1) IS a “match” that will give a slope of 1/2. The card/points (2,3) when used with the card/point (3,1) will give a slope of -2. MY APOLOGIES for NOT checking each card combination before commenting!!