Math = Love: WWSDS: What Would Slope Dude Say?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WWSDS: What Would Slope Dude Say?

One of my absolute favorite concepts in the world to teach is slope.  I don't know what it is about slope, but I have an absolute blast convincing students that slope doesn't have to be scary.  Plus, it involves introducing them to Slope Dude.  And, in my book, any lesson that makes the slightest mention of Slope Dude is a winner.

Hello, I am the person who has WWSDS signs hanging in her classroom.  Because you should obviously always ask yourself What Would Slope Dude Say?

Want to download these posters for your own classroom?  Click here!

I guess I should warn you about side effects of hanging these posters in your classroom, though.  I hung them up part way through our slope unit in Algebra 1 without comment.  I just waited for students to notice them.  They did.  They also started hypothesizing the meaning behind the letters.  In fact, all of my classes noticed them.  And, it was just too tempting for them to not try to guess what they must stand for.  The letters were just beckoning to them to figure their meaning out.  It makes me wish I could figure out more ways to harness my students' curiosity like this.  

My first period class decided they must mean "What Would Satan Do Seriously?"  This led to numerous (very untrue!) rumors about my being a worshiper of Satan.  Yeah...

Moving on...

During my first year of teaching, I assigned my students to draw a picture and label the different types of slope in the picture.  Then, last year, I changed things up and had them label the different types of slope that could be found in their name.  I liked this activity, but I missed the creativity that the previous activity had allowed.

This year, I decided to do the slope name art as our notebook entry and use the picture drawing assignment as the quiz.  Definitely the best of both worlds.

We did this lesson months ago, but I'm just now getting around to uploading pictures and sharing them.  As you scroll through my students' creations, you will realize that some of them put much more effort into the assignment than others.


  1. I did this activity with my students last year except they had to have 5 lines. Instead of writing positive slope many of my students said it was a puff puff slope! LOL.

  2. We love slope dude! My students have decided that the only way slope dude could be better would be to have Morgan Freeman narrate. Ha!

  3. Hi Sarah,

    We used Slope Man last year and it was a great success. This year I want to integrate the arts into my classroom more. I can't wait to assign this as homework and see what my students come up with.


    1. Integrating arts is an awesome goal. Good luck!

    2. Check out fractals!

  4. Hi Sarah,

    I always love your creative lessons! I actually just did some parts of your Road Trip Project with my 7th grade class last week. My students LOVED it as a review of cross multiplying and proportions in a real world situation. They also were conveniently studying the 50 states in Social Studies class and it worked out perfectly.

    The idea of Slope Man is genius, especially as I am about to start my linear equations unit. I am already brainstorming ideas of how I can integrate arts and technology with this for my classroom, primarily with some iPad use.
    I also want to see how I can get students to expand on their drawings to explain how they know and maybe make up a rule or trick Slope Man can help with. Take the 4th example from the bottom of your pictures, the monster like eating drawing, in it there is a mouth with two lines that cave in, yet one is positive and the other negative. Why is this? How do we know? Now students will have a visual representation but a fun "smartcut" to remember it.

    Thanks again - your blog rocks!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you've been able to use some of my ideas in your classroom! And, I love the idea of having students come up with "smartcuts!" Hope your school year is going well!

  5. Sarah,
    Thank you again and again! I love all of your resources and blogs! Thanks for inspiring all of us!