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Navigating the World of Coordinate Systems

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By: Michaela Velichka

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Table of ContentsLoading...

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Chapter 1:Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

Resources

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Introduction to the Coordinate SystemLoading...

Ordered PairsLoading...

Plotting Points in the First QuadrantLoading...

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(p. 3-5)Loading...

(p. 6-8)Loading...

(p. 9-10)Loading...

(p. 11)Loading...

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Chapter 1: Introduction to the Coordinate SystemLoading...

The coordinate system is a system of numbers used for describing the location of points on a coordinate plane, or a flat (2D) surface.The coordinate system is formed by two intersecting, perpendicular number lines. These number lines are called axes. The horizontal axis is called the x-axis. The vertical axis is called the y-axis.

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y-axisLoading...

x-axisLoading...

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Coordinate System

y-axis

Helpful hint!

To remember which axis is which, try using one of the following clues about the y-axis:

The y-axis goes up and down like a yo-yo

OR

State the phrase "Y to the sky!"

To remember which axis is which, try using one of the following clues about the y-axis:

The y-axis goes up and down like a yo-yo

OR

State the phrase "Y to the sky!"

x-axis

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Coordinate System

The point, or location in space, where the axes meet is called the origin. Both the x and y values at this point are 0. In the next chapter, we will discuss how to write the coordinates of a point.

The coordinate plane can be divided into four quadrants, as pictured to the right. We will begin working on writing ordered pairs and graphing points in the first quadrant in chapters 2 and 3.

The coordinate plane can be divided into four quadrants, as pictured to the right. We will begin working on writing ordered pairs and graphing points in the first quadrant in chapters 2 and 3.

y-axis

Quadrant 2

Quadrant 1

origin

x-axis

Quadrant 3

Quadrant 4

Chapter 2: Ordered Pairs

An ordered pair is a pair of numbers used to state the location of a point on a plane. Ordered pairs are written in the format (x,y). The x-coordinate, or the location of the point in relation to the x-axis, comes first within the parentheses. The y-coordinate, or the location of the point in relation to the y-axis, is written after the x-coordinate and a comma. The ordered pair for the origin would be (0,0).

(0,0)

Chapter 2: Ordered Pairs

To write an ordered pair for a point in quadrant 1, first travel across the x-axis to the right until you make it to the line where the point is at. Then, travel up the until you touch the point. Look at the y-axis to find the y-coordinate of your point. Write the coordinates in this x then y order, separated by a comma and inside of parenthesis. What is the ordered pair for Point A? Check your answer at the bottom of the page.

A

Remember the format: (x,y)

Answer: (3,4)