Collaborative learning activity in which students practice combining like terms & using the distributive property to simplify expressions involving integers. I love using this activity in class because it encourages student discussion, error analysis, and peer scaffolding. This particular activity encourages students to understand that a particular expression can look different, but still be equivalent, as partners may write terms in a particular expression in different orders (commutative property!), or one may write their expression in terms of addition rather than subtraction (additive inverse!).
With a partner, one student simplifies expressions in Student A’s column, while partner 2 works “Student B” problems. Once both partners arrive at an answer for a particular problem, they are to compare answers with each other. Answers should yield equivalent expressions for corresponding problems. If students get expressions are not equivalent, there is an error! They must check back over their own work, as well as their partners in order to find & correct their mistake(s). I love when I hear one partner say, "Oh! I get it now," or "Oh! I see what I did!" Neither partner may move on to the next problem until both partners reach the same answer.