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# Simplifying Expressions - What are like terms?

Lesson 1 of 10

## Objective: Students will be able to simplify expressions by combining like terms.

## Big Idea: Keep it simple – with expressions! This lesson will help students learned to simplify expressions by combining like terms.

*67 minutes*

#### Launch

*10 min*

**Opener: **As students enter the room, they will immediately pick up and begin working on the opener. Please see my instructional strategy clip for how openers work in my classroom (Instructional Strategy - Process for openers). This method of working and going over the opener lends itself to allow students to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, which is **mathematical practice 3**.

**Learning Target: **After completion of the opener, I will address the day’s learning targets to the students. In today’s lesson, the intended target is, “I can simplify an expression by combining like terms.” Students will jot the learning target down in their agendas (our version of a student planner, there is a place to write the learning target for every day).

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#### Explore

*55 min*

Simplifying Expressions Notes: Simplifying Expressions Explore Narrative

Instructional Strategy - How do table challenges work?: Using the quiz applet within the smart software, students are going to participate in an 8 question table challenge on simplifying expressions. For this challenge, I am going to draw a playing card A-8 to determine which table (each is marked with a playing card A-8) will respond to the question. For these particular questions, students have to pay close attention to signs of terms (**mathematical practice 6**).

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#### Summarize + Homework

*2 min*

**Table Question: **To summarize this lesson, I am going to have students work as a table to create two different pairs of terms – one pair that would be considered like, and one that would be considered unlike. I want to make sure the first thing students remember from this lesson is what an example of like and unlike terms is.

**Homework:** As tables are writing their two pairs of terms, I will pass out the homework. Students may begin work on their homework after I check their response to the summary activity. Philosophy on Homework

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Hi Heather,

I am a new teacher that moved from high school to middle school due to an opportunity. This is my second year of teaching. I absolutely love teaching 7 grade Math and I have a great group of kids. Your lessons are very helpful to me. Yes, similar to Anna Petersen, I made students draw different shapes around the like terms before combining them. In addition, I also made them to include the like terms with their sings on front.

| 2 years ago | Reply

I love your fluency ideas (gallery walks, etc.) As a first year teacher, I so appreciate resources from veteran teachers!! One thing that really helped my students with this particular lesson when I implemented it was drawing different shapes around the like terms before combining them. For example, we drew circles around all the members of the "x family" and rectangles around all the members of the "y family" and around all the members of the "y-squared family". This really helped my visual learners to see what they would be combining.

| 2 years ago | Reply*Responding to Leonidas De Los Santos*

Do you have any sort of remedial time built into your daily schedule? If not, perhaps you could keep the idea of openers, but maybe make the questions the skills that they are lacking as opposed to a spiral review. We have a "focus" time in our schedule, so I use that time to work on basic skills with my students - it is a 45 minute daily block.

| 3 years ago | Reply*Responding to Apolo Trujillo*

It wasn't until I moved from high school to middle school that I realized how much kids need structure :) The openers and guided notes handouts make class run smoothly, and the kids always know what to expect!

| 3 years ago | Reply

Hello Heather, I am a teacher from Los Angeles, Ca. Your lesson helped me structure my own lessons. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Mr. Trujillo

| 3 years ago | Reply

Thanks for yor lesson once more. I take lots of good tips from your videos and modify my lessons. I have incorporated a opener slips like yours.

Mr. Leonidas De Los Santos

South Bronx, New York City, NY.

| 3 years ago | Reply

Hi Heather I loved your lessons and your videos. I am a first year math teacher in South Bronx, New York City. I have learned a lot from your videos and lesson planning. I have used your openers and they do reduce the amount of talking in the classroom. Now most of my students grab the openers and seat down quickly to start working with them.

I have a good number of 7th graders that have huge holes in their basic skills. Could you suggest a good strategy to install onto them the need to try. My issue is helplessness. I have so many children that they have stopped trying long ago. Any pointers?

Mr. Leonidas De Los Santos

New York City, NY.

| 3 years ago | Reply*expand comments*

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- UNIT 1: Introduction to Mathematical Practices
- UNIT 2: Proportional Reasoning
- UNIT 3: Percents
- UNIT 4: Operations with Rational Numbers
- UNIT 5: Expressions
- UNIT 6: Equations
- UNIT 7: Geometric Figures
- UNIT 8: Geometric Measurement
- UNIT 9: Probability
- UNIT 10: Statistics
- UNIT 11: Culminating Unit: End of Grade Review

- LESSON 1: Simplifying Expressions - What are like terms?
- LESSON 2: Simplifying Expressions - Fluency Practice
- LESSON 3: Distributive Property
- LESSON 4: Distributive Property - Practice Makes Perfect!
- LESSON 5: Add and Subtract Linear Expressions
- LESSON 6: Add and Subtract Linear Expressions Fluency
- LESSON 7: Expressions Applications - Can you apply expressions to area and perimeter?
- LESSON 8: Factoring Linear Expressions - Can you "un" distribute?
- LESSON 9: Expressions Review
- LESSON 10: Expressions Test - What have you learned?