Lesson: Simplify Expressions/Combine Like Terms

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT simplify expressions by combining like terms.

Lesson Plan




Do Now

(8:30 – 8:40)/(10:00 –10:10) 

·         Teacher walks around to greet students and check in with students about their do now and homework

HW Check

·         Teacher walks around to help/spot check student HW

Mental Math

(8:40 – 8:50) /(10:10 – 10:20)

·         Teacher reads and reveals a series of 6 problems – helping students to think of strategies to help students solve the problems

·         Teacher pulls sticks (cold call) to have students answer the questions

Mini Lesson

(8:50 – 9:25)/(10:20 – 10:55)


·         Today we are going to look just expressions.  Who can remind me what an expression is? (cold call) expressions are mathematical phrases – they don’t have equal signs

·         Sometimes expressions are written so that they

have lots of different terms.   

·         We are able to combine any terms that are similar or “like” 

·         A like term is when a term has the same variable attached to it.  

·         Demonstrate visually a expression with many terms (use hands on equations materials – putting the like with like (white pieces with white pieces and blues with blues)

·         We can put together terms that are the same – demonstrate with materials.

·         Let’s see what we did with mathematical symbols.

·         Focus students that when combining the like terms you are just adding the coefficients together – example 2x + 3x  combines to 5x

·         Walk through several examples of subtracting to combine like terms – what happens when there is a subtraction sign – it means we are taking away some of the terms.


·         Have students use materials to model an expression.

·         Then explain to students that they can put together any thing that is the same.

·         Ask students to show what was done with symbols.



·         Complete worksheet


·         What did we learn?

·         Like terms can be combined together

·         Why is important?

·         What are some common mistakes?

What does successful work look like/sound like?

Skills Time

(9:35- 9:50) /(11:05-11:25)

Review of shapes work 


Lesson Resources

Notes Simplify Expressions   Notes
HW Combine Like Terms 1  
HW Combine Like Terms  
CW Combine Like Terms  
U8 L3 Finding the Unknown Combine Like Terms Evaluate Expressions  


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