# Linear Foldable y=a+bx

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I created this linear foldable to review linear functions with my Algebra 2 students.

This year, I made the decision to teach my students about linear functions in the form y = a+bx instead of the typical y = mx+b.  Let me tell you, this is a hard thing to do.  First off, I’ve always taught y=mx+b before.  When I took Algebra 1, I was taught y=mx+b.  My Algebra 2 students who paid attention in Algebra 1 love y=mx+b.  Okay, maybe they don’t love it.  But, the idea of changing from y=mx+b to y=a+bx did not set well with them at all.

I was told, however, at two separate conferences this summer that my students would do better with exponential functions of the form y=a(b)^x if I taught them linear functions in the form y=a+bx.  We will see.  We will definitely see.

There are some things I like about teaching y=a+bx.  It does make more sense to tell students that we always graph the y-intercept first when it comes first in the equation.  However, standardized test questions seem to always write linear functions in the form y=mx+b.  This does give me an opportunity to remind students that it doesn’t really matter what order we write the equation in as long as we make sure that the signs are correct and that the slope is the coefficient of the x.

I am still in love with Slope Dude.  I thought that I wouldn’t need to show Slope Dude to my Algebra 2 students.  But, my students who had me last year in Algebra 1 insisted that we HAD to watch it again.  It was kinda funny.  They talked up Slope Dude like crazy to their fellow students.  “This is the best video ever.”  “It’s so funny.”  Then, they kept making cryptic comments like “Puff Puff Positive” and “This is Zero Fun.”  Their classmates were SO confused and intrigued at the same time.  So, I pulled up the video on YouTube.  The audio isn’t the loudest, so I made everyone stop talking.  I started the video.  The kids who had seen it before were cracking up.  The kids who had never seen it before had a look on their faces that was priceless.

Seriously, if you haven’t watched Slope Dude, it will be the best 2 minutes and 36 seconds of your day.  I promise.  I don’t know what it is about this video, but every time I have ever showed it, my students were narrating Slope Dude’s adventures by the end of the video.  Be forewarned:  your students will also never refer to the slope as positive again.  It will be “Puff Puff Positive.”  And, there may be an audible gasp whenever you say the word “Undefined.”  After all, it is the worst curse word ever in mathematics.

Months later, my students still are talking about Slope Dude.  Last week, our Geometry classes started reviewing linear functions.  Some of my Algebra 1 students from last year came by to tell me about it.  When the Geometry teacher reviewed the four types of slope, the students insisted on calling the slopes by their Slope Dude names.  I hear that the Geometry teacher was not impressed…