As a mathematician, I am thankful for shortcuts.  I think part of the reason that I have always loved math so much is because I recognize and implement shortcuts.  I love to look for patterns in numbers and procedures.  I try to share these tips and tricks with my eighth grade math students whenever I can.  I want to share with you a little gem I recently discovered from a colleague.  My Accelerated Algebra 1 students are currently writing linear equations.  Given a point and the slope, students are practicing writing linear equations in slope intercept, point-slope, and standard form.  Naturally, standard form always caused the biggest headache (and low quiz grades).  But fear no more!  Check out this awesome strategy that utilizes proportions:

Step 1: Rearrange the point-slope form to isolate the m.

Step 2: Input (x, y) and m.

Step 3: Cross multiply.

Step 4: Arrange to form Ax+By=C.

Voila!  No messy fractions to clear, few steps, and a beautiful final answer!

Check out my resources related to writing linear equations here.

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