# Linear equation facts for kids

In mathematics, a **linear equation** is a type of equation. In a linear equation, both terms have to be constant. A linear equation is the equation of a straight line. This type of equation is written in the form:

**y = mx + b**

or **(y - y1) = m(x - x1)**

where : m = the rate of change, or slope.

The slope is how fast the line moves up or down. Larger numbers will make the slope steeper.

**If m is a negative number**, then the line will appear to fall or go down the page when read from left to right.

**If m is a positive number**, then the line will appear to climb the page when read from left to right.

While b = the y-intercept of the function.

This is where the function crosses the y - axis of the coordinate plane.The first equation is called **slope-intercept form**, because in it, the slope (m) and y-intercept (b) are easily found.The second equation is called **point-slope form**, because in it, a point on the graph (x1, y1) and the slope (m) are easily found.

*Kiddle Encyclopedia.*