Cross Posted from Epsilon-Delta.
Anyway…somehow I managed to totally suck at explaining intercepts this year in Algebra II. Even after an entire semester with these kids, when I say, “What’s the y-coordinate of an x-intercept?” all I get is *chirp, chirp, chirp.*
I wrote up this literacy strategy, that I was quite proud of. I felt like they finally understood the algebraic definition of an x-intercept, and not just the geometric definition (i.e., I want more out of them than just “An x-intercept is where the graph crosses the x-axis.”). But…the next week I felt like we were back to square one.
Help! How can I help them understand and generalize the concept of an intercept? I especially want them to understand how factors and zeros are related. What have you tried that you have had success with? Class composition is juniors and seniors.