We kind of did a "fly-by" on this activity. It has the students create a table in order to graph a linear equation. Then they are asked to graph 5 more equations while looking for shortcuts. Lastly they are asked to discuss in details the steps they use to graph a linear equation and what special methods can be used. They are also prompted to tell how they decided on the numbers to use in the table.
I had to be out one day before this activity and we had already been discussing how to graph from slope-intercept form and how to graph using intercepts. I think that somewhere in this area of the curriculum it is time to explicitly teach these concepts. We have been working on them for a long while now in Overland Trail and in Cookies. Therefore, I gave them a "traditional" worksheet on graphing using the 2 methods. Therefore when my students did #2 in this activity we focused our discussions on which method would be easier to use in order to graph the line.
Graphing lines is such a fundamental part of algebra and it is so frustrating how the concepts seems to escape the majority of the students. If they go a day or 2 without graphing it is like they totally forget. One thing I like about IMP is that they graph over and over and over again. In Cookies we are using constraints to find the feasible region and answer questions about different situations (systems of inequalities). Sonya and I decided that while we are working through Cookies we are going to SIT on graphing until they get it...we hope.