Lesson 4

Are Apples, Bananas? No Sir? What Do We Do Now?

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SWBAT determine when and how to combine unit terms, x-values, and x-squared values to simplify expressions.

Big Idea

Let’s get hands on! Students will use classroom items to help determine when and how to combine like items. This will transition to deeper understanding in combining like terms mathematically.

Teacher Guided Notes/ Opening Question Before Bell Ringer

5 minutes

Teacher Guided Notes CCSS: 7.EE

This lesson is intended for students to have a concrete understanding of simplifying expressions through using objects that they encounter every day.  Talk through the first example picture with them.  Ask them what the letter “a” and “b” are called mathematically?  This is to understand that variables are important in simplifying expressions and equations.  Why can we only combine apples with apples? This lesson will not have extensive teacher guided notes.  The lesson has video, and hands on activities that will serve as note taking resources.  Students will practice mathematical practice 1,2,3,4,5,and 6. Please see full lesson plan for picture.


Bell Ringer

10 minutes

Bell Ringer:

After discussing the picture watch the YouTube video.  The video does an awesome job in using family pictures to combine like terms.  When showing the video, pause the video allowing students to engage in the examples the video has the students to complete.  Always check for understanding by asking guided questions.

Hands On Fun Group Activity

10 minutes

Please refer to full lesson plan for group activity.


In Class Task

10 minutes


After working through and discussing the bell ringer.  Give the students the activity to work through with a partner.  Allow the students to use the opening discussion, and bell ringer to work through the problems together.  Try not to give too much direction with the activity.  This is an opportunity to assess students understanding, or lack of understanding.  

Whole Group Discussion

10 minutes

Whole Group Discussion:

Once the time allotted for the pairs to complete the task has expired, allow students to share out their work.  Each pair should share how they completed one problem.  Allow the group to discuss each share out.  Example questions could be, “Did we all solve the problem in the same manner? If not, what did you do differently?  Did you come up with the same response?  What were some things you see that could have been done differently?  Is there a mistake here?  Where is it?  Why do you think the mistake was made?  How can we avoid doing the same mistake?

Transition to next day lesson

10 minutes

Transition to typical way of simplifying expressions with variables

To transition to the next day’s lesson, watch this YouTube video.  This will show students the typical way in simplifying expressions.  Be sure to discuss the comparisons from the activity task to the typical way of simplifying expressions. 

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

This Exit Ticket will help understand what students learned for the day.