# Having Fun with Distance and Midpoint

How do you take a topic that isn’t overly exciting and get the kids to have fun with it?  I have found that getting students out of their seats and working with friends usually does the trick! 🙂

If you follow my blog you know that I have been sharing activity ideas (and free downloads) for a set of (free) ordered pair task cards that I posted last week.  Click here for my post on a slope activity and click here for my post on a coordinate plane activity.

Today I am sharing an activity on the distance and midpoint formulas:

• Have them grab a partner, find the distance and midpoint between their point and their partner’s point and then “check” their work by graphing the ordered pairs and seeing if their answers make sense.
• Have them repeat with 2 other partners.
• Challenge early finishers (or everyone) to then grab another partner. Let their point be an endpoint and their partner’s point be the midpoint.  They need to find the other endpoint.

It’s a quick easy-to-implement activity that gets kids moving and working together.  Enjoy!

Click the image below to download the Distance and Midpoint Partner Activity worksheet:

Christina

# Moving Around the Room with the Coordinate Plane – Activity Idea

Here is activity #2 for the ordered pair cards I posted in my last blog post.  (If you missed my post on a fun, free activity for teaching slope, you can read it here).

This is an activity on graphing in the coordinate plane that gets kids up and moving around the room:

• Give each student an ordered pair card when they walk in the room (free download link is below)
• Have them walk around the room and find someone who has an ordered pair that meets the given description. Once they find someone with an ordered pair that “works”, they need to write down that person’s ordered pair and have them sign their paper.  (The signatures ensure that the students are actually walking around the room to find ordered pairs and not just copying from a friend).  They are only allowed to have a student sign their paper once, so they will need to find 9 different people to sign their paper in order to answer all of the questions.
• After they have gathered all of their ordered pairs and signatures, they need to plot all of the points they found on the coordinate plane on the bottom of the page, labeling each of them with the given letter and their own ordered pair with a star.

I think that this lesson will be a nice way to break the monotony of simply having students graph points on a coordinate plane and write coordinates for given points.  It also makes students think more about their points than they would if they were just graphing them.  They need to think about their x-coordinate, y-coordinate, and what quadrant/axis it is located in for this activity.

Click the image below to download the “Coordinate Plane Find Someone Who…” worksheet:

Also, if you are looking for a way to challenge your higher level students with the coordinate plane, you may want to check out my Coordinate Plane Challenge Task Card Activity.  It consists of higher level thinking task cards and a riddle sheet and is a good way to challenge students who find coordinate plane graphing easy.  It’s \$2.50 in my Teachers pay Teachers store.

Christina

# 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.