## Reflection: Real World Applications Let's Simplify Matters - Section 2: Warmup

There are two predictable errors I expect my students to make that this context helps them make sense of:

1. The photos can not be combined with any other photos and I think my students might leave them out of the list (simplified expression). If they think this is an exersize in combining like terms rather than simplifying a list they ignore terms that can't be combined with any other terms. If they mention the photos, I ask if I can combine them with any other like items. When they tell me no, I ask if we should include them on my list.

2. Another mistake some of my students make is to combine all the terms with the same variable regardless of exponents or other variables (x, xy, x^2), or in this case, put all the money together. Some students may say we can combine them with the dollars, so I ask if they can tell me how much money I have after combining the coins with the dollars and how they might write that amount. Some students may say that I have 8 dollars and 12 cents. Turning this idea back to the class for consideration will usually result in another student pointing out that I haven’t specified what kinds of coins they are, so we can't tell the monetary value. I want them to see that we can’t combine some terms until we know the value of the variables and can then do the math.

Common mistakes
Real World Applications: Common mistakes

# Let's Simplify Matters

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 8 of 23

## Big Idea: Students will understand that terms with different variables or exponents will change differently from one another and that constant terms don't change at all.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, Expressions (Algebra), variable values, like terms, variable expressions, white boards
54 minutes

### Erica Burnison

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