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The purpose of this activity is for students to use the concept of the rate of depreciation in a real world situation to investigate the relationship between rate and slope.
Students create ordered pairs, graph depreciating car values, and calculate rates of depreciation, then identify that the rate of depreciation = slope of the line. Using the equation they then solve for future values and times.
Before algebra students can be expected to understand traditional "word problems," they need experience using algebra as a language, i.e. writing algebraic expressions and equations. At Pierce College we are encouraging elementary algebra instructors to include a set of lessons on expressions, gradually increasing in difficulty and leading to problems involving weighted averages ("mixture problems") and motion.