Thinking algebraically helps us to develop different ways of representing real-world situations. You may have chosen to use a table to represent the situation with Eric the Sheep, for example, or you may have tried to describe the process in words or as an equation. Representations of mathematical ideas enable us to use mathematics as a way of communicating with others. Note 6
The next set of problems involves qualitative graphs, representations that focus on the important general features of a situation. Looking at qualitative graphs helps us to make sense of a situation and allows us to make predictions and draw conclusions. In this way, even a simple qualitative graph can communicate a great deal of information.
Making sense of graphs and drawing conclusions from them make it possible for us to understand our world and the information around us. If you look at a newspaper, a financial report, or virtually any statistical information, you'll find a graph. The ability to interpret these graphs is essential to understanding the information contained within it. Note 7