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Plotting Points and Naming Quadrants - Problem 3 4,997 views

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

Ordered pair, or coordinate points, are written as (x, y). The "x" value tells you how many units to move horizontally, or along the x-axis. The "y" value tells you how many units to move vertically, or along the y-axis. If one of the values is a fraction, the same rules apply. For example, if the x value is -1/2, then from the origin (0, 0), move half a unit to the left, or to the negative side. From there, use the y value to tell you how many units to move up or down. The x- and y-axis divide the coordinate plane into four quadrants. The top right quadrant is the first quadrant. Moving in a counter-clockwise direction is the second, third and fourth quadrant.

When you're graphing points in the (x,y) coordinate plane sometimes it can get kind of weird if you have a fraction and here's why. Like in this problem for example it tells us to go half a box in the x direction and then down one. That's kind of weird, keep in mind this is your x number, that's your y number. So starting from the origin which is (0,0) in the middle, I want to go half a box in the positive x direction and then down one. It's kind weird because it doesn't show up right in the corners which is what we're used to, it shows up half way in the middle. Don't worry though it's still a point on the graph, they don't have to always go through like the corner of the boxes.

So there we go. Tell us what quadrant it's in, it's going to be in quadrant IV because they're numbered I, II, III, IV. A lot of times in Math we don't like fractions, I can't blame you, personally I don't like fractions either, but it's okay I mean you still follow the same processes, you just have to think a little bit more cleverly to figure out how get that on the graph.

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