Intro to Slope of a Line

Slope is one of the most important topics in algebra but perhaps one of the most challenging topics. One issue is that students often think of the formula as opposed to the idea of slope. The images shown below are for a handout that unpacks the idea or concept of slope.



The images show sections of a handout. Slope is a measurement of a graphed line. It measures steepness and also indicates direction. The handout starts by drawing on prior knowledge of measurements for newborns.

Prior knowledge of steepness and up and downhill are invoked.

How to measure steepness is introduced through a focus on stairwells.

The measurement of the length and height of steps leads into the rise and run of a hill. I use “right” and “up” or “down” which focus on direction. The terms “rise” and “run” can be addressed subsequent to the introduction. This part of the handout is scaffolded to reduce task demand and focus on the concept.

Finally, the students are provided a line and apply the ratio procedure. Note: the slopes are not the same as in the prior section.


An accompanying Jamboard will eventually be shared in this space.

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