Education Technology

Staggered Races 1: Varying the "b" in y=mx+b

Published on 07/05/2010

Activity Overview

The primary focus should be on parallel lines and equivalent equations. In Activity 1 and Activity 2, the class collectively will create a system of parallel and coinciding lines. It is important to focus on parallel lines having the same slope, but different y-intercepts; and coinciding lines having the same slope and y-intercept. There is also an opportunity to discuss solutions to systems of equations.

Before the Activity

See the attached PDF files for detailed instructions for this Activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the MathWorlds Application on the students' graphing calculators following the instructions in the Activity overview.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the student activity pages to your class.
  • Distribute the MathWorlds AppVar file to your class using TI Connect? and the appropriate TI Connectivity Cable.
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity.

    Students will:
  • Explore the meaning of slope and y-intercept (i.e. y=mx+b) by contributing to a family of functions
  • Analyze and compare functions that vary in slope by group number
  • Understand parametric variation

  • After the Activity

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging.
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary.