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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Use geoboards to model slope
  • Use m = r i s e r u n to find the slope of a line from its graph
  • Find the slope of horizontal and vertical lines
  • Use the slope formula to find the slope of a line between two points
  • Graph a line given a point and the slope
  • Solve slope applications

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

  1. Simplify: 1 4 8 2 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  2. Divide: 0 4 , 4 0 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .
  3. Simplify: 15 −3 , −15 3 , −15 −3 .
    If you missed this problem, review [link] .

When you graph linear equations, you may notice that some lines tilt up as they go from left to right and some lines tilt down. Some lines are very steep and some lines are flatter. What determines whether a line tilts up or down or if it is steep or flat?

In mathematics, the ‘tilt’ of a line is called the slope of the line. The concept of slope has many applications in the real world. The pitch of a roof, grade of a highway, and a ramp for a wheelchair are some examples where you literally see slopes. And when you ride a bicycle, you feel the slope as you pump uphill or coast downhill.

In this section, we will explore the concept of slope.

Use geoboards to model slope

A geoboard    is a board with a grid of pegs on it. Using rubber bands on a geoboard gives us a concrete way to model lines on a coordinate grid. By stretching a rubber band between two pegs on a geoboard, we can discover how to find the slope of a line.

Doing the Manipulative Mathematics activity “Exploring Slope” will help you develop a better understanding of the slope of a line. (Graph paper can be used instead of a geoboard, if needed.)

We’ll start by stretching a rubber band between two pegs as shown in [link] .

The figure shows a grid of evenly spaced pegs. There are 5 columns and 5 rows of pegs. A rubber band is stretched between the peg in column 1, row 4 and the peg in column 4, row 2, forming a line.

Doesn’t it look like a line?

Now we stretch one part of the rubber band straight up from the left peg and around a third peg to make the sides of a right triangle, as shown in [link]

The figure shows a grid of evenly spaced pegs. There are 5 columns and 5 rows of pegs. A rubber band is stretched between the peg in column 1, row 2, the peg in column 1, row 4, and the peg in column 4, row 2, forming a right triangle. The 1, 2 peg is the vertex of the 90 degree angle, while the line between the 1, 4 and 4, 2 pegs forms the hypotenuse of the triangle.

We carefully make a 90º angle around the third peg, so one of the newly formed lines is vertical and the other is horizontal.

To find the slope of the line, we measure the distance along the vertical and horizontal sides of the triangle. The vertical distance is called the rise    and the horizontal distance is called the run    , as shown in [link] .

In this illustration, there are two perpendicular lines with arrows. The first line extends straight upward and is labeled “rise”. The second arrow extends straight rightward and is labeled “run”.

If our geoboard    and rubber band look just like the one shown in [link] , the rise is 2. The rubber band goes up 2 units. (Each space is one unit.)

The figure shows a grid of evenly spaced pegs. There are 5 columns and 5 rows of pegs. A rubber band is stretched between the peg in column 1, row 2, the peg in column 1, row 4, and the peg in column 4, row 2, forming a right triangle where the 1, 2 peg is the vertex of the 90 degree angle and the line between the 1, 4 peg and the 4, 2 peg forms the hypotenuse. The line between the 1, 2 peg and the 1, 4 peg is labeled “2”. The line between the 1, 2 peg and the 4, 2 peg is labeled “3”.
The rise on this geoboard is 2, as the rubber band goes up two units.

What is the run?

The rubber band goes across 3 units. The run is 3 (see [link] ).

The slope of a line is the ratio of the rise to the run. In mathematics, it is always referred to with the letter m .

Slope of a line

The slope of a line    of a line is m = rise run .

The rise    measures the vertical change and the run    measures the horizontal change between two points on the line.

What is the slope of the line on the geoboard in [link] ?

m = rise run m = 2 3

The line has slope 2 3 . This means that the line rises 2 units for every 3 units of run.

When we work with geoboards, it is a good idea to get in the habit of starting at a peg on the left and connecting to a peg to the right. If the rise goes up it is positive and if it goes down it is negative. The run will go from left to right and be positive.

Questions & Answers

Aziza is solving this equation-2(1+x)=4x+10
Sechabe Reply
No. 3^32 -1 has exactly two divisors greater than 75 and less than 85 what is their product?
KAJAL Reply
x^2+7x-19=0 has Two solutions A and B give your answer to 3 decimal places
Adedamola Reply
please the answer to the example exercise
Patricia Reply
3. When Jenna spent 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then did circuit training for20 minutes, her fitness app says she burned 278 calories. When she spent 20 minutes onthe elliptical trainer and 30 minutes circuit training she burned 473 calories. How manycalories does she burn for each minute on the elliptical trainer? How many calories doesshe burn for each minute of circuit training?
Edwin Reply
.473
Angelita
?
Angelita
John left his house in Irvine at 8:35 am to drive to a meeting in Los Angeles, 45 miles away. He arrived at the meeting at 9:50. At 3:30 pm, he left the meeting and drove home. He arrived home at 5:18.
DaYoungan Reply
p-2/3=5/6 how do I solve it with explanation pls
Adedamola Reply
P=3/2
Vanarith
1/2p2-2/3p=5p/6
James
don't understand answer
Cindy
4.5
Ruth
is y=7/5 a solution of 5y+3=10y-4
Adedamola Reply
yes
James
don't understand answer
Cindy
Lucinda has a pocketful of dimes and quarters with a value of $6.20. The number of dimes is 18 more than 3 times the number of quarters. How many dimes and how many quarters does Lucinda have?
Rhonda Reply
Find an equation for the line that passes through the point P ( 0 , − 4 ) and has a slope 8/9 .
Gabriel Reply
is that a negative 4 or positive 4?
Felix
y = mx + b
Felix
if negative -4, then -4=8/9(0) + b
Felix
-4=b
Felix
if positive 4, then 4=b
Felix
then plug in y=8/9x - 4 or y=8/9x+4
Felix
Macario is making 12 pounds of nut mixture with macadamia nuts and almonds. macadamia nuts cost $9 per pound and almonds cost $5.25 per pound. how many pounds of macadamia nuts and how many pounds of almonds should macario use for the mixture to cost $6.50 per pound to make?
Cherry Reply
Nga and Lauren bought a chest at a flea market for $50. They re-finished it and then added a 350 % mark - up
Makaila Reply
$1750
Cindy
the sum of two Numbers is 19 and their difference is 15
Abdulai Reply
2, 17
Jose
interesting
saw
4,2
Cindy
Felecia left her home to visit her daughter, driving 45mph. Her husband waited for the dog sitter to arrive and left home 20 minutes, or 13 hour later. He drove 55mph to catch up to Felecia. How long before he reaches her?
Rafi Reply
hola saben como aser un valor de la expresión
NAILEA
integer greater than 2 and less than 12
Emily Reply
2 < x < 12
Felix
I'm guessing you are doing inequalities...
Felix
Actually, translating words into algebraic expressions / equations...
Felix
hi
Darianna
hello
Mister
Eric here
Eric
6
Cindy
Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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