Math Background

Graphing Integers: Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure you have grid paper and rulers or straightedges for your students to use.
  • Continually stress the importance of the order of the numbers in an ordered pair. The ordered pair (2, -1) is not the same as the ordered pair (-1, 2). The ordered pair (2, -1) is in Quadrant IV and the ordered pair (-1, 2) is in Quadrant II.
  • Use overhead transparencies of grids or large grid paper to demonstrate the plotting of points. Placing points and lines accurately on a chalkboard without a grid is very difficult and can be misleading to students.
  • It is important that your students recognize that an equation, its table of values, and its graph are different representations of the same relationship.
  • Accurate graphing requires time and concentration. Provide ample time for students to practice the skill of graphing, both in and out of class.
  • To develop a deep understanding of a concept, it is a good idea to approach it from different directions. In the case of plotting points on the coordinate plane, students should be able to plot a point given its coordinates, and they should also be able to give the coordinates of a point that has been graphed.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5