Helping Students REMEMBER the Difference in ‘LOOK’ Between Positive and Negative Slope

Some ideas just slap you in the face.

I got slapped this morning as I was flying home from LA to Albuquerque. Those little cocktail napkins they hand out with “beverage service” often give me the urge to write. So this morning, nerdily enough, as I sipped my orange juice at 30,000 feet above the Salton Sea, I was working on figuring out a new and better way to help students grasp the difference in look between positive and negative slope.

That’s when I got “slapped.”

First, you must realize that I use the three-letter abbreviations of POS and NEG for positive and negative. Do some of you use these as well? I mention this because those abbreviations hold the key. You have to use the first letter of the NEG abbreviation and the last letter of the POS abbreviation.

Let’s start with NEG.

The first letter of NEG is, of course, “N.” But look what I noticed …

 

See what Negative Slope Looks Like

Visual Clue for Negative Slope

 

The trick for POS is a tad more complicated. But I’m hopeful it will work.

 

Visual Clue for Positive Slope

Visual Clue for Positive Slope

 

So what do you think? Will this work for your students?

If you test it out, please let me know what you find. I’m interested to know. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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