# what could be an appropiate motivation for slope of a line?

This year I used an activity suggested in an article in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School that used a "book-stacking" model to present the concepts of slope and intercept.

A group of students started stacking their textbooks on a surface of the desk and measuring the total height of the stack. Relating the height of the books to the number of books in the stack provided a linear graph with the slope being represented by the height of one book (when we add one book, how does the height change?), and the intercept being represented by the height of the desk (when there are no books, what is the height? If we stacked books on top of the filing cabinent instead, how would the height change?)

The students were led to explore the slope-intercept form of a linear equation through a predictable physical situation before these concepts were taught. I had reasonably good results with a group of lower-ability and lower-motivated students. Source(s):
The journal website is here:
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