Language of Algebra with Real World Contexts

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SWBAT Translate words to math and math to words using correct operations, grouping symbols, and powers.

Big Idea

To Bring the Language of Algebra Alive in the Context of Real World Scenarios!


15 minutes

In this lesson I introduce my students to the Language of Algebra and how they can use it to describe contexts in their every day lives. I start with a few scenarios on an Introduction page. I ask students to write an expression, equation, or inequality representing the scenario. Once the students get started, I will ask them to identify the equations and inequalities, then solve them.

I have students work independently for about five minutes. After they get a start, I will allow them to work with their table partner for a few more minutes. Once I am happy with students progress, I will ask students to share responses with the class as we review each scenario. The sequence takes about 15 minutes. 

Guided Notes

15 minutes

My students have been introduced to the Language of Algebra prior to my class, but I teach this lesson to help them recall and use the relevant vocabulary. Quick and precise recall of vocabulary is important when modeling and solving word problems. I want my students to be able to interpret problems in their own words, but write correct expressions, equations, and inequalities modeling problems.  

The Guided Notes review vocabulary, with opportunities to compare terms that confuse my students. For some students this will be enough. I expect I will need to work with some students further, perhaps introducing a reading protocol to use when solving word problems. If so, I often begin with identifying key words in the reading and writing variable definitions, before writing the expressions, equations, and inequalities needed. Today, I will be listening and observing to see which students may require such scaffolding. 

I review part of the Guided Notes presentation in the video below.



Independent Practice

20 minutes

For today's Independent Practice, I plan for my students to complete several Khan Academy modules. Several of the practices chosen for today are review from Grades 6-8 content. My goal is to build confidence and to assess my students' fluency in using the Language of Algebra.  

During this lesson I assign the following exercises as homework that is due in one week.  I will link them below for you to view.

  1. Identifying parts of an expression
  2. Writing expressions
  3. Writing expressions 2
  4. Writing expressions with variables word problems
  5. Linear equation word problems
  6. Writing expressions with exponents
  7. Writing expressions with exponents word problems

I anticipated that several students will struggle with the Linear equation word problems module. I already plan to cover this topic during this unit, so their work on this module will serve as both a review of prior topics and a pre-test.