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?
Download the 32 ordered pairs cards by clicking the picture below.
Download the “Making Slopes” activity worksheet by clicking the picture below.
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.
Thanks for reading,