Monday, April 18, 2011

Run, Jump or Dig -- Ordered Pairs On a Graph

To help remember which way ordered pairs go on a graph
We used a race analogy. When you run a race you have to run on the ground -- or the horizontal line. The starting point of the race is the Zero on the horizontal line (X axis). At the beginning of the race they give you a card with two numbers (or ordered pair of numbers). The first number that tells you how far to run from the starting point of zero. If it is a positive number then you run forward that many blocks or steps until you reach that first number. If it is a negative number, you run backward that many blocks or steps. The second number on the cad represents where to claim your prize. If it is a positive number you will jump up to get your prize. Each prize is located at that specific number, so you have to jump up to get the prize at the exact spot or number of the second number on your card. If the second number is negative, the negative symbol is a shovel, and that means you have to dig to get your prize. Again, when you dig you can only have the prize that is at the exact number that is on  your card.  

How to remember which line is the X-axis.
When you find or graph ordered pairs on a graph, you find the first number on the horizontal line (x-axis), just as in the race, you first run to that number on the horizontal line. When you are ready to run the race, they marked the spot you run to with a giant X made of two axes. Those are the X Axes. You will always see them on the ground (horizontal line) when you run a race. Remember that X marks the spot for your prize.

How to remember which line is the Y-axis.
At the beginning of the race, if the first number they give you is Zero (0) then you stay where you are to either jump or dig for your prize. But the prizes on the vertical line are attached to that vertical line (y-axis), and the only prize you get is two axes. Then you ask them, "Why axes?" If you have to dig for your prize on the vertical line they hand you axes to dig with. Again, you ask, "Why axes?" The second number of the ordered pair that you get at the beginning of the race tells you how far away from the Y axis your prize will be, and whether you have to jump or dig to get it. Hopefully that will help you rememer that the vertical line is the Y axis.

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