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Interpreting Graphs - Problem 1

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

To represent a story using a graph, start by drawing the x- and y-axes and label them according to the two variables being compared. Read the story carefully to understand how the description should be translated onto the graph (i.e., how the graph will move along the two axes). When you complete the graph, compare it to the original story and make sure the changes in the graph align with the changes in the story.

Sometimes you can use graphs to describe stories which I think can be pretty fun in Math class. Like for example this problem says draw a graph with time on the horizontal axis and heart rate on the vertical axis to describe this story excuse me to represent this story.

I'm going to go ahead and just set up my axis they say they want time on horizontal and heart rate on vertical. Okay, Alison slept in then her alarm woke her up oh! Wait sorry before we get into this too far keep in mind why they want to think about Alison's heart rate we want to think about what's going like biologically as she happens or she goes through this day.

Alison slept in then her alarm woke her up she jumped out of bed then ran to school. Then she sat in boring classes in the morning and then exciting Math classes in the afternoon.

Okay so let's think about Alison's heart rate. First of all she slept in. When you sleep your heart rate is pretty constant and it's pretty low. So I'm just going to draw a little flat line right there like she's awake she has a heart beat but it's kind of still the same it's low she's asleep. Then her alarm woke her up I don't know about you guys but when my alarm goes it's like my heart rate just shoots up because the alarm can be really startling. So I'm going to draw Alison's heart rate shooting up because the alarm like jolted her out of bed.

Then she jumped out of bed and ran to school you guys can decide how you want to represent that I personally would say okay she the alarm set her off and then she is kind of staying up at this high heart rate she's jumping out of bed she's running to school, she's like freaking out maybe she's late.

Okay then she sat in boring classes in the morning so she got to school her heart rate like calms down she didn't quite fall asleep but she sat in boring classes, so her heart rate is kind of like she's not quite asleep but she is pretty bored. But then oh! Then there is Math class so luckily Alison's heart rate gets to pick up and she gets more excited and she retains like a pretty excited state in Math class. Actually I probably shouldn't make her more excited than when she is running, let me change that a little bit, but she's still pretty she is more excited than her morning classes so I'm going to make it higher than her morning classes.

That's it that's the way you can make a graph to represent a story in your life. And if you were to show this picture to somebody and just ask them to describe Alison's heart rate over this time out over her day they will probably come up with something similar to what the story said.

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