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Working with Coordinate Plane Grids

Understanding Ordered Pairs

On the GED Mathematics Test, students will be asked to plot ordered pairs. Many students need help understanding the concept of ordered pairs. An ordered pair gives the location of a point on a coordinate plane.

  • The first number of an ordered pair is the x-coordinate, which provides the location of the point in relation to the x-axis.
  • The second number of an ordered pair is the y-coordinate, which provides the location of the point in relation to the y-axis.

An example of an ordered pair is (3,2). To locate the point on the coordinate plane grid, first move horizontally along the x-axis to 3; then move down to 2 on the y-axis. The ordered pair (3,2) is located in Quadrant III of the coordinate plane as shown below.

[Grid]

Teaching Tip:
To help students gain confidence in using the coordinate plane grid, start by giving them sets of ordered pairs and have them identify the quadrant in which the point would be located without having to actually plot the point. When students have gained confidence in finding the correct quadrant, then move to the actually plotting of points on the coordinate plane grid