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Interpreting Algebraic Expressions
  • Introduction: Mathematical Goals
    • This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to translate between words, symbols, tables, and area representations of algebraic expressions. It will help you to identify and support students who have difficulty in:

      1. Recognizing the order of algebraic operations.
      2. Recognizing equivalent expressions.
      3. Understanding the distributive laws of multiplication and division over addition (expansion of parentheses).
  • Formative Assessment Task : Interpreting Expressions
    • Students are presented problem-solving situations in which they write and interpret algebraic expressions.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practices Common Core State Standards for Content

      This lesson involves a range of mathematical practices from the standards, with emphasis on:

      1. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
      1. Look for and make use of structure.

      This lesson involves mathematical content in the standards from across the grades, with emphasis on the following Domain.Cluster:

      • A-SSE: Interpret the structure of expressions.
      • A-APR: Rewrite rational expressions.
  • Lesson Structure
    • The lesson unit is structured in the following way:

      • Before the lesson, students work individually on an assessment task that is designed to reveal their current understanding and difficulties. You then review their work and formulate questions for students to answer, to help them improve their solutions.
      • During the lesson,
        • Students work in pairs or threes to translate between word, symbol, table of values, and area representations of expressions.
        • In a whole-class discussion, students find different representations of expressions and explain their answers.
      • After the lesson, students return to their original assessment task, and try to improve their own responses.
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