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Posts Tagged as "mnemonic device"

An easy way to remember the difference between a line with zero slope and a line with no slope

Monday, October 8th, 2012

A lot of students get the concepts of “zero slope” and “no slope” confused when they’re first introduced.

Most students think something along the lines of, “They’re the same thing, right? Because zero equals nothing…..?????????? Wait… no, they’re totally different — BUT HOW DO I REMEMBER WHICH IS WHICH?”

Here is a super easy way to remember the difference:

Zero slope means that the line is horizontal. Just like the line that makes the top of a “Z” is horizontal.

No slope means that the line is vertical. Just like the line that makes the beginning of a “N” is vertical.

(If you’re interested in a mathematical explanation to go with the visual reminder, check out Elizabeth Stapel of PurpleMath’s lesson on slope. The part about zero slope and no slope is towards the bottom of the page.)

Many of my students have used this tip with great success — so spread the word! No one needs to be confused about this anymore!

Do you wish someone would just explain math in a way that really makes sense to **you**? Do you yearn for the confidence that comes from really GETTING it?

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An easy way to remember how logarithmic notation works
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Posts Tagged as "mnemonic device"

An Easy Way to Remember How Logarithmic Notation Works

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Here’s a way my students and I developed to help remember what goes where in logarithmic form.

Many of my students have found this really helps them remember logarithmic notation!!


While this memory device is no substitute for understanding conceptually how logarithms work, it is very useful to be able to remember how to “rearrange the furniture” to change an exponential equation into a logarithmic equation.

And speaking of logarithms, I also highly recommend Kate Nowak‘s post on how to introduce logarithms without freaking students out.

Maria Droujkova of Natural Math also has a great post on how you can use family trees to demonstrate how logarithms work.

Related Posts:
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