Thanks to René Descartes, the French philosopher and mathematician, who supposedly was lying in bed and staring up at a fly on his ceiling, we have a fabulous way to graph equations. We now have what is known as the Cartesian Plane! We can use an ordered pair of coordinates to specify a point to indicate a specific orientation or location in space. 

Before you can do anything, you need to know the basics. Understanding the basics is key as this will be your foundation. 

Number Line: A number line has arrows at both ends which means it goes on indefinitely. 

xaxis and yaxis: two number lines, one goes horizontally (xaxis) and the other vertically (yaxis). The x and yaxes give you dimensionality, so points can be plotted in a plane. When plotting points, you move across the xaxis first then, you move up or down along the yaxis.


The 2axis grid is called the Cartesian Plane or Cartesian Grid and is named after René Descartes. 

coordinate pair (or ordered pair): how to describe a point's location on the Cartesian grid by the point of intersection on the xaxis and yaxis; (x, y) abscissa: the value of the x in the ordered pair (x, y) ordinate: the value of the y in the ordered pair (x, y)


function: a table of ordered pairs that shows the relation between the domain (x values) and the range (y values) and how they correspond to one another.


graphing the function: plotting the points of the function on a Cartesian plane/grid All the points on the 'graph' are the solutions to the equation. This is the awesome part of graphing linear functions.


Now that you understand the vocabulary and have the foundation for linear equations you can move on to finding the slope and yintercept! 

©2011–2017 Sherry Skipper Spurgeon. All rights reserved. 
