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# Combining Like Terms

Lesson 2 of 12

## Objective: SWBAT simplify algebraic expressions by combining like terms.

#### Do-Now

*10 min*

Students will translate verbal phrases into algebraic expressions as a review from the previous day. During Combining Like Terms Do-Now, struggling learners will have the option to use vocabulary cards as an aid with unfamiliar words.

Students will come up to the board and write their answers after 3 minutes.

Next, a student will read the objective and question of the day to the class: **SWBAT simplify expressions by combining like terms.**

I will then call on a volunteer student and ask:

- What does it mean if two things are alike?
- Does alike mean congruent or the same?

#### Resources

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Todays lesson lays the groundwork for solving equations, so it is crucial that students leave class with a firm understanding of like terms and the parts of an expression.

Using the Combining Like Terms presentation, the first three slides aim to bridge the work that was done during our last class. The next few slides provide students with the important algebraic vocabulary they will need for combining like terms and solving equations.

**Slide 7**

To introduce this slide, I will tell the class that I have three “challenge” questions for them to complete silently. Students will quickly realize the joke I am making when they see simplicity of the problems. I will build on the class momentum and ask a few student volunteers to fully elaborate why 1 heart + 1 heart = 2 hearts, but 1 heart + 1 triangle ≠2 hearts and does not equal 2 triangles. Using our new vocabulary, I will tell students that for two terms to be alike in math, they must have the same variable and exponent. We can then add the coefficients using what we know about integers.

**Slide 11**

We will begin to combine like terms on slide 11. To help students visualize like terms, I will draw a circle around all constants, a square around all terms that have a coefficient of x, and a triangle around each x^{2 }term.

During this class a mini-session of the commutative property will be necessary. I will ask students if 3 – 4 is equal to 4 – 3 (students who struggle with integers, may need this exampled illustrated using integer chips). I will emphasize the sign of each term in every example by asking students to identify if it is positive or negative. I tell students to look for the +/- sign in front of a term because it "belongs" to it.

Students quickly understand like terms; The biggest hurdle in this lesson was integers, which many of my students still struggle with. To combat this, students will use red and write integer chips or a number line as they combine like terms to allow them to focus on the new skill.

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Students will practice combining like terms using this art activity. Each student will need colored pencils, markers, or crayons.

I will ask a student to reiterate the definition of a like term. I will then ask students to find a box on their paper that would could be considered a like term with “x”. After they share their responses I instruct them to color “x” ,“3x”,“0.1x”, and the box they chose the same color because they fit the definition of a like term. I will ask a volunteer to use the definition of like terms to justify whether x^{2} and cx should be colored the same color a “x” “3x” and “0.1x”.

Students will complete the rest of this activity on their own, shading all like terms with the same color. I will ask students who finish early to begin creating expressions on the back of their paper with the like terms they colored.

#### Resources

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#### Closing

*10 min*

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I'm trying to fill in the guided notes for my 6th grade class. Do you jave an answer key?

| 7 days ago | Reply

I'm trying to fill in the guided notes for my 6th grade class. Do you jave an answer key?

| 7 days ago | Reply

*Responding to Sharon Remsen*The guided notes are from the PPT if that helps. I made a key during lesson prep. | 15 days ago | Reply

*This was a great lesson! I used it in a summer school remediation course and the kids loved it! They were engaged and felt very confident about combining like terms at the end of the activity. We extended the lesson by choosing a row/column and created expressions with the like terms. LOVED IT! | 3 months ago | Reply*

I absolutely LOVE this lesson!!!!! I am a fellow DCPS teacher at Kramer MS and I will be using this with my 7th grade sped population. Kudos to your creativity. :)

| one year ago | Reply

I have to say...what an exciting well worth lesson. My students absolutely loved the idea of coloring but also loved the "challenge" of finding like terms on their sheets.

the fcx and cx definitely tricked many of my students.

Thank you for the wonderful lesson!

| one year ago | Reply

So excited to use this lesson with my ESL pre-algebra class next week!

| 2 years ago | Reply

Some of the like terms boxes in the art activity have a "zero" coefficient. Does that mean that box is "zero"? Or, should students match it with other terms?

| 2 years ago | Reply

This lesson is so important for student's solving multi-step equations. I will use this in my tutorial class.

| 3 years ago | Reply

I wish I saw this lesson a week ago. I will definitely use this next year!

| 3 years ago | Reply

Loved this lesson, especially the part where the kids could color. It got them thinking - there were a lot of great questions. Thank you.

| 3 years ago | Reply

Loved the notes and art activity! One suggestion- on your powerpoint, it would be great if you added the answers with animations so that they can be pulled up as the teacher goes through the notes with the class. Thanks for sharing.

| 3 years ago | Reply*expand comments*

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- UNIT 1: Welcome Back! - The First Week of School
- UNIT 2: Linear & Absolute Value Functions
- UNIT 3: Numeracy
- UNIT 4: Linear Equations
- UNIT 5: Graphing Linear Functions
- UNIT 6: Systems of Linear Equations
- UNIT 7: Linear Inequalities
- UNIT 8: Polynomials
- UNIT 9: Quadratics
- UNIT 10: Bridge to 10th Grade

- LESSON 1: The Language of Algebra
- LESSON 2: Combining Like Terms
- LESSON 3: Addition and Subtraction One Step Equations
- LESSON 4: Multiplication and Division One Step Equations
- LESSON 5: Two Step Equations
- LESSON 6: Building a Strong Foundation for the Distributive Property
- LESSON 7: Solving Multi Step Equations with Candy (Day 1 of 4)
- LESSON 8: Solving Multi Step Equations: Comparing Processes (Day 2 of 4)
- LESSON 9: Solving Multi Step Equations: Special Cases (Day 3 of 4)
- LESSON 10: Solving Multi Step Equations: Bringing It All Together (Day 4 of 4)
- LESSON 11: Solving Literal Equations
- LESSON 12: Review Day!