The most basic mathematics students need to know to understand GeoGebra is the coordinate axes. Must you teach students how to plot points and interpret coordinates of points before they use GeoGebra or the other way around? I think, at the same time. Below is a sample activity on how I think this can be done. The lesson is about investigating coordinates of points on a Cartesian plane. Its objective is to teach how to use GeoGebra’ s point tool, interpret coordinates of points and make generalizations.

1. Locate the reflections of the points A, B, C, D, E, F, and G if they will be reflected along the y-axis. Use the point button [.A] or the reflect button [.\.] to plot the points.

2. Hover the cursor along the points A to E. These pairs of numbers are called the coordinates of the point. What do you notice about the coodinates of these set of points (A through E)? Will this observation be true to the reflections of A, B, C, D, and E you just plotted?

3. Hover the cursor to the other points. How do the coordinates of the points relate to the values in the x and y axes?

4. In the input bar type P=(5,-2). Before hitting the Enter key, predict the location of the point. Experiment using other coordinates. Use the Move button to drag the grid to see the points you plotted, if they are not visible in the panel.

5. The x and y axes divide the plane into four quadrants. Describe the coordinates of the points located in each quadrant. What about the points along the x -axis and y – axis?

Click here to explore.

Of course, the teacher need to understand a little about GeoGebra first before giving this activity to his/her class.

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