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# What is Algebra?

Lesson 4 of 14

## Objective: SWBAT identify the terms used in algebraic expressions.

*85 minutes*

#### Do Now

*10 min*

To begin today's lesson, I ask students to complete a Do Now problem focused on reasoning about numerical expressions. The task requires students to use the orders of operations successfully. I thought this would be a good idea because today, the students will be introduced to algebraic expressions.

When students are done solving this problem in their notes , I will introduce them to the idea that numerical expressions are only one type of mathematical expression. We will start to learn about others today.

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#### Vocabulary

*15 min*

To get students started on the right foot with algebraic expressions, I will first introduce some new mathematical vocabulary to my students. I will ask my students to take notes as I display and discuss common vocabulary used in algebra. The vocabulary words are defined and examples are highlighted for each one.

I hold my students responsible for writing the definition and examples for each new vocabulary term. I generally point out the highlighted pieces, so students can make connections correctly. I remind my students to use a highlighter or bold text to draw attention to important examples.

**Additional Resources**:

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During this activity I give the students the opportunity to apply the new vocabulary terms. I begin by having the students work through the True or False and What is... slides independently. Once all students have completed each problem, I’m going to have them do a **Round robin share **with their table mates **(MP1, MP3, MP6).** Each student should share their response and say why they know it’s true. If table mates disagree, they can share their thoughts at that time.

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#### Coming to terms

*15 min*

During this section of the lesson, we will focus on what an algebraic expression looks like and identifying the number of terms in the expression. I will give the students four algebraic expressions to analyze (see Is it an expression?). The students will be identifying the parts, deciding if the expression is algebraic or numeric, and determining how many terms are in the expression **(MP2, MP6).** The last two questions will be a challenge for most students. I expect that these problems will provide a clear assessment of who can apply the meanings of the vocabulary words. If students struggle with these problems, they can use their tablemates to help with the understanding

As students finish, we will go over the answers as a whole group.

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#### Around the Room

*20 min*

After introducing students to new vocabulary, I want to give them the chance to get up and move around the room a bit as we continue to learn about algebraic expressions. So, next we will do an Around the Room activity. The Around the Room questions sum up the learning for the day. I used several different formats for the questions:

- true/false
- multiple choice
- open response.

This activity should be fast paced so I will actively encourage students to keep moving. I want to make sure that we have time to go over answers as a whole group.

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#### Closure

*10 min*

To bring today's lesson to an end, the students will be doing a **Connect 3** using the words:

- expression
- variable
- coefficient

I have prepared a Graphic Organizer for students who need this resource.

The Common Core explains that the students need to know that a coefficient belongs to a variable, whereas a constant is used with addition and subtraction **(6.EE.A.2)**. I will look and listen for this understanding as students work. If time permits, I will have the students share their responses with a partner.

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*Responding to Michelle Schade*Yes, it would be very beneficial to have the answer key. Thank you. | 10 months ago | Reply

*Responding to BARB VENTURA*I don't have an answer key for the warm up questions. I can get you one if you still need it. | 10 months ago | Reply

*I am starting my student teaching and using part of your lesson plan.Â I think it is very helpful especially the essential questions.Â It there an answer key for your lessons?Â I have not looked through all of them as of today so I may be asking this question prematurely. | 10 months ago | Reply*

*I like the lesson plans, but are there any answer keys? Mammals with the Longest Tails. Just curious. | 10 months ago | Reply*

*I have been using several of your lessons in my 6th grade classroom. Â I think you lesson plans are very easy to follow. Â Thanks for sharing!! | 11 months ago | Reply*

Looks good! I particularly like the powerpoint; I'll try it with my yr 7s as a warm up now that we've introdced thewse ideas. thanks!

| one year ago | Reply

Great lesson!Â I've been teaching elementary school (mostly 5th grade) for 30 years and I decided to change to 6th Grade Middle School math this year.Â Everything is different and new and this is so helpful.Â Thank you!

| one year ago | Reply

Janice,

Â

I put a student example in the closure section.

Â

Michelle

| 2 years ago | Reply

Hi Michelle,

I love your lessons! Â I was wondering if you could post a sample of final version of the closure activity.

Thanks,

Janice Â

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- LESSON 1: Exploring Exponents
- LESSON 2: Learning About the Orders of Operations
- LESSON 3: Orders of Operations - Stations
- LESSON 4: What is Algebra?
- LESSON 5: Evaluating Expressions and Not the Emotional Kind!
- LESSON 6: Writing Expressions the Right Way!
- LESSON 7: Working with the Properties!
- LESSON 8: Area and Expressions
- LESSON 9: Exploring the Distributive Property
- LESSON 10: Are We Alike?
- LESSON 11: Expressions in the Real World
- LESSON 12: Review 6.EE.1, 6.EE.2, 6.EE.3, and 6.EE.4
- LESSON 13: Assessment Day!
- LESSON 14: Deepening our understanding