Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Area and Combining Like Terms - Section 4: Calculating Area


I had students work on problem 2 by themselves first and then we discussed their ideas. As I was walking around I noticed that some common mistakes were 2x^2, 3x, and x^3.  When we came back together I wrote down all the different answers I had observed on the board.  I asked students to raise their hands and explain which answer they thought was correct.  Students were engaging in MP3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.  I asked whether or not we could combine x squared and x.  I also asked what x^3 represents.  I wanted students to see that x^3 represents x times x times x, which is not represented in the picture.  Students were ultimately able to explain that they could not combine x squared and x because each block represented a different area. 

I felt like students needed a little more practice, so I asked them to use their blocks to create a shape that had the area of 2x^2.  After a couple minutes we came together and shared out answers.  I referenced the shape in problem two and asked students if x^2 + x was equivalent to 2x^2.  

  Addressing Student Mistakes for Problem 2
  Discourse and Questioning: Addressing Student Mistakes for Problem 2
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Area and Combining Like Terms

Unit 6: Expressions, Equations, & Inequalities
Lesson 13 of 20

Objective: SWBAT: • Calculate the area of a rectangle and square • Write an expression to represent the area of multiple shapes • Create and identify equivalent expressions by combining like terms

Big Idea: How do you represent the area of different blocks? What’s the difference between 2x and x squared? Students use their knowledge of area to combine like terms using algebra tiles.

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5 teachers like this lesson
Math, Algebra, equivalent algebraic expressions, Expressions (Algebra), combining like terms, area of rectangle, 6th grade, master teacher project, algebra tiles
  50 minutes
images 3
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