Interpreting Algebraic Expressions Day 1

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to translate between words, symbols, tables, and area representations of algebraic expressions.

Big Idea

This two part lesson allows students to strengthen and deepen their understanding of the multiple forms of algebraic expressions.

Warm up, Homework Check, and Partner Team Building

10 minutes

I include warm ups with a rubric as part of my daily routine. My goal is to allow students to work on Math Practice 3 each day. I use homogeneous student groupings which provide an opportunity for appropriately differentiated math conversations.   The resource video specifically explains this lesson’s Warm Up: Interpreting Algebraic Expressions which asks students to identify several ways that a person could get $4.72 in change.

I also use this time to correct and record the previous day's homework.  This will take a bit longer as this will be their first run through of homework correction.     

For the first week of each new partnership, I present a question that has the students sharing their answers. This helps students become comfortable talking to each other, which they will be doing frequently throughout the year.

Today's topic is:  When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

Course Expectations Part 2

7 minutes

In the previous lesson, I began discussing the information on my syllabus.  I chose to spread this out since it can be mind numbing to go through that much information in one go.  Certain portions, like the section on quizzes or tests will be covered as we get to that part of the class.

Today, I am covering the grading scale, homework, and getting extra help.  

Interpreting Algebraic Expressions

30 minutes

This lesson is from the Math Assessment Project (MAP).  Typically I don't  take a lesson right from a web site, however the MAP lessons are extremely well written and can be used with minimal modifications.  This website resource has very explicit directions which I don't need to repeat, instead I will be sharing my lesson pacing and techniques to tailor this activity for my students. I encourage you to read through the MAP lesson  for complete directions.

In the introductory activity each student receives a personal whiteboard, marker and eraser or tissue.  The students are given five written statements, located on a PowerPoint, that they must translate into an algebraic expressions.  As the students hold up their boards, I write down all variations I see, correct and incorrect.  I then call on students to explain WHY expressions are correct or incorrect (Math Practice 3). 

Next each pair of students will receive Card Set A and Card Set B of the Interpreting Algebraic Expressions Matching Activity.  These cards have algebraic expressions and written statements that need to matched (Math Practice 2).  Something that I would like to emphasize about this activity is the importance of walking around and providing some individual scaffolding to the students.  There are some excellent examples of student/teacher interactions in the lesson guide. 

Time permitting, I include the section that includes tables of values to the matching activity.  Again, circulating around the room and engaging in conversations with students will increase the impact of this lesson.  I like to provide students with a baggie to place their cards at the end of the class so they can save them for the next day.

Exit Ticket

3 minutes

My goal for these beginning of the year exit tickets is to get students thinking about their goals for this class.  Today's Exit Ticket asks students to answer: "What is your plan to make sure that you are getting all of your homework done?"