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My older son is doing a little Algebra review and he told me that he was having trouble understanding “standard form” for lines.

Since he’s doing this review mostly on his own, I have to confess that I did not remember what the “standard form” for lines even was! We talked through some basics about lines and some different ways to represent the equation of a line for our project tonight:

Here are some of the basics about lines:

and here’s our conversation about some of the different ways to write the equation of a line:

I enjoyed talking about these ideas with him and definitely learned why different ways to write equations of lines could be confusing. In part, it is hard to understand that x and y are variables and the other letters in the equations are constants. Another source of confusion, I think, is probably similar to the confusion about why 0.999999 repeating and 1 are the “same” number. How can these two representations which seem totally different mean the same thing?