Coordinate
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Coordinate
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What is a Coordinate?
Coordinates are pairs of numbers that are used to determine points in a plane, relative to a special point called the origin. The origin has coordinates (0,0). We can think of the origin as the center of the plane or the starting point for finding all other points. Any other point in the plane has a pair of coordinates (x,y). The x value or xcoordinate tells how far left or right the point is from the point (0,0), just like on the number line (negative is left of the origin, positive is right of the origin). The y value or ycoordinate tells how far up or down the point is from the point (0,0), (negative is down from the origin, positive is up from the origin). Using coordinates, we may give the location of any point we like by simply using a pair of numbers.
To help students learn to find points on a coordinate plane, you can use a shower curtain liner. You put black electrical tape on the liner to represent the Xaxis and Yaxis. Then you draw in the other lines using a black marker and a meterstick. (For an averagesized liner, putting the lines about 15 cm apart worked well.). Then you number the lines with a different colored marker.
After a discussion about how to find a point on the grid, place the liner on the floor. Select a student to stand on the origin (0,0), as you display a set of coordinates. The student then walks across the Xaxis, and then up or down to locate the point. The class watches, and must agree whether or not the student is standing on the right point.
