In this unit students use algebraic expressions to represent variable situations while learning how to combine use the distributive property and factor by reversing distribution.

  1. CME, Discovering Algebra, and Dan Meyer’s Number Tricks are good for building expressions, as well as understanding why we combine like terms.
  2. Park Math’s Defining New Symbols for evaluating expressions
  3. The Banana Rule could be the basis for an activity where students seek out structure in complex or tricky expressions.
  4. Factoring by un-distributing can be taught early, and area models can help.
  5. The process of Guess-Check-Generalize is a powerful habit of mind that helps students translate contexts to expressions.

Still Need:

  • Some interesting problems that hit combining like terms. The number tricks hit these at a basic level.

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