How Do I Use the Graph - Plotting Tool?

TeacherMade's Graph-Plotting tool gives your student practice plotting points or lines on the Coordinate Plane. It's a flexible tool that will allow you to add a Coordinate Plane to your activity, and set which points or lines students will be required to draw. And it's auto-scored so that the grading is done for you! To add a Graph - Plotting item to your activity, follow these instructions:

Insert an Item on Your Activity

Click anywhere on your activity, or draw a box to bring up the "Insert" menu, and under "Math Tools," choose "Graph - Plotting."

A box will open, allowing you to enter all the information needed to draw the Coordinate Plane. It defaults to plotting points on a 10 x 10 plane extending from -5 to 5 on both the X- and Y-axes.

Choose Points or Lines and set the Score Points

You’ll first need to decide if you want your students to plot points on the coordinate grid or lines. 

Select "Points" in the drop down menu for the student to be asked to plot specific points on the plane, or "Lines" if you wish them to draw lines.

Choose how many points this question will be worth. The student must correctly plot all the points or lines you indicate to receive the full score. No partial score is given automatically, but you can set a partial score yourself while reviewing student work if you desire.

Set the Size of the Plane

Next, set the X-axis and Y-Axis Min/Max to set the size of the coordinate plane. You'll notice that the label for the minimum and maximum points are not displayed. So, if you set the X-Axis Max to 5, labels will be displayed only for 1, 2, 3 and 4 as shown above. You can use that to your advantage if you want to display just Quadrant I (see the "Power User Tips" section below).

Choose Points to be Plotted by the Student

If you chose "Points" above, you can set as many points for the students to plot as you wish. Just enter the x and y coordinates of each point into the two fields and click "Add Point." The points will be given a label starting with "A" and displayed to you in a list below the entry boxes.

You'll see each point drawn on the plane. Your students will not (as always, it's a good idea to Preview your activity to see what your students will see).

To remove one of the points, click the trashcan icon next to its value.

Choose Lines to be Plotted by the Student

If you chose "Lines" above, you can set as many lines for the students to plot as you wish. Choose how you wish to specify the lines, and begin adding the values that define each line.

To add a line defined by the formula "y = mx + b," choose "Constants" from the drop-down menu, then enter the value of m (the slope of the line) and b (the y-intercept) and choose "Add Line." The line will be drawn on the plane.

To add a line defined by two points, choose "With points." Enter the x and y values of two points, and the line will be drawn through those points. The points will be drawn for your reference and given labels, as well. 

To remove one of the lines, click the trashcan icon next to its definition below the entry boxes.

What the Student Sees

Students answer both Points and Line questions by simply clicking on the Coordinate Plane. Each click will draw a point on the plane. If they're answering a Line question, they will click on two points to define the line and the line will be drawn upon their second click. If there are multiple points or lines to draw the student should continue clicking to indicate all the required points. 

The students cannot delete points once they're drawn, but they can easily grab any point and drag it to a new position to change their answer.

Power User Tips

Make Your Coordinate Plane Square: Once you've created a Graph - Plotting item, you might wish to change its dimensions so that it displays as a perfect square. Just click it to select it, then grab one of the corner "handles" that appear to resize it. Hold the "Shift" key while you drag, and the shape will be a perfect square.

Displaying Just Quadrant I: To display just Quadrant I of the Coordinate Plane, enter -1 as the minimum value for both x- and y-axes. The graph will display nicely and the origin will have a little space to the left and below.

Adding Text: This item type, like most in TeacherMade, doesn't have a question prompt. If you'd like to add one, just click anywhere on the activity to bring up the "Insert" menu, and choose "Teacher Text" under the "Content Tools" header.

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