## Remember linear functions?

Remember learning linear functions in algebra? Maybe not? It’s a shame really, since it was one of the most important concepts your teacher taught you. To jog your memory: You most likely had graph paper and spent a lot of time counting squares and calculating y when given x. The word slope came into play. If you were like me, slope made you picture something interesting, like a mountain. What you got from your completed assignments, though, was a line. Just a line.

Not today in eighth grade math! Karl’s students were given pictures of graphs with lines. Sometimes the slope stayed the same, sometimes the slope varied. On separate cards, there were little stories about a guy named Tom…a pretty active guy named Tom.

Students, working in teams, read the stories and found the matching graph as well as the matching x and y values from data tables. For success in matching, they had to interpret information — not just repeat a bunch of steps over and over. They were asked to actively create an understanding where slope had a genuine meaning (for Tom, and for all of us).

Active Tom = Active PDS math students!