Education Technology

Introduction to Absolute Value

Published on 08/24/2010

Activity Overview

In this activity students will explore the definition of absolute value using a number line, plot points to graph y = |x|, and use sliders to perform transformations with absolute value functions.

Key Steps

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    In the first part of this activity, students will use a number line to understand the concept of absolute value as the distance from zero. Then they will enter positive and negative x values into a spreadsheet, which graphs the points (x, abs(x)).

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    For the second part of the activity, students will investigate the effects of the variables a, c, and d on the graph of the function, y = a|x| and y = |x + d| + c.

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    Students will check their understanding of Problem 2 by determining the equation of a given graph. These matching exercises are self-check.