First, the Basics! The x axis of a graph refers to the horizontal line while the y axis refers to the vertical line. Together these lines form a cross and the point where they both meet is called the origin. The value of the origin is always 0. So if you move your pencil from the origin to the right, you are drawing a line across the positive values of the x axis, i.e., 1, 2, 3 and so on. From the origin to the left, you're moving across the negative values of the x axis, i.e., η, θ, ι and so on. If you go up from the origin, you are covering the positive values of the y axis. Going down from the origin, will take you to the negative values of the y axis.

Who's Fault? _ Is it his fault that he lacks confidence with word problems? Not entirely. Our actions, as educators, seem to imply a belief that solving word problems should come more naturally than simpler operations like arithmetic and algebra. Many parents and teachers feel justified in encouraging (i.e. forcing) a child to work hundreds or thousands of math worksheets, drill multiplication tables, long division... but few encourage solving hundreds of story problems. One suspects that the relative ease of creating and checking ordinary math worksheets keeps the focus of math education on simple, atomic operations at the expense of more holistic story problems.

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