__WHAT IS SLOPE?__

The slope of a line tells us how slanted the line is and whether it goes up from left to right or down from left to right. In the equation of a line, y=mx + b. the m is the slope of the line. Let's look at a few graphs with a varying m and see if we can make any assumptions about it's value.

y=6x y=x/2

y=2x y=x/6

y=x

As you can see, all of these line travel up from the left to the right.This is called a positive slope. When the value for m in your equation is positive, the line will increase from the left to the right. Also, you can observe, as the value of m increases, the steeper the line becomes. When m is a fraction, or closer to 0, the flatter it becomes. What happens when m=0?

Now let's look at what happens when m is negative.

y=-x

y=-x/4

y=-4x

The negative sign now makes the line travel down from the left to the right. This is called having a negative slope. When m is negative, this downward slope is created. The closer to 0, the flatter the line appears. The further away from 0, the steeper the slope.

RETURN