Absolute Value functions are first introduced to high school students in Algebra 1 and further investigated throughout Algebra 2. Students should first learn to graph these functions using a picture of values, which isn’t extremely challenging as far as they have decent basic arithmetic skills.
Once students master graphing these by hand, they can go the more efficient route by using technology for shortcuts. It sometimes is important for students to be in a position to not only understand a mathematics problem, but understand how to resolve it using the quickest possible method. The reason speed is important is because tests like the ACT challenge students to recalling mathematics in a speedy manner (60 questions in 60 minutes).
To graph an absolute value function in your TI-83 graphing calculator (or TI-84) go to the Y= button to begin to input your equation. To input the absolute value symbol press the MATH button, scroll to the law and select 1:abs (. You can now enter the balance of your equation provided that the equation is solved for y already after you input this. Remember to close out the absolute value equation by closing the parentheses. Now you should be able to graph your absolute value function.
And Even More…..
The absolute value function has a v-shape to it. If it does not show right away, you may need to tweak the viewing window just a little bit before graphing again. You can also add shading to your graph by turning it into an absolute value inequality problem. Going back to the Y= button, you can choose a different symbol in place of the equals sign.
There are also options to identify different portions of this function. You can look around the table of values or even find the exact coordinates of the maximum or minimum value of the function. This value is also known as the vertex of the function. You should practice graphing several different absolute value functions until you’ve got the hang of the process. Learning to graph these with a calculator is a good way to check your answers on a test when you’re on them by hand first.