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# Simplifying Algebraic Expressions (FREE Simplification Challenge!)

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Resource Types
Product Rating
3.9
File Type
PDF (Acrobat) Document File
0.59 MB   |   4 pages

### PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Algebraic expressions – a key mathematical stepping stone toward a complete understanding of and appreciation for algebra. This FREE product provides a challenging puzzle for sixth and seventh graders or pre-algebra students to tackle when they are nearing the end of a unit on algebraic expressions (see below for more on such a unit). To solve the puzzle, students simplify 20 different expressions using the Distributive Property and by combining like terms, group together the letters associated with each simplified expression at the bottom of the page, and then unscramble the letters to answer the question posed at the beginning of the puzzle. To do the puzzle, students should be well acquainted with simplifying expressions, including those with fractions and decimals, but need not know how to handle expressions with negative numbers. The puzzle can be completed in one class period.

This product is part of a series of products on algebraic expressions. These products answer questions such as:

- What delineates an algebraic expression from a numerical expression or from an algebraic equation?
- Why would we choose to use an expression with one or more variables in it when we could just fall back on those reliable expressions with plain old numbers that we have used for the first several years of our schooling?
- Where are some key areas (areas of geometric figures, temperature, science formulas, etc.) where we may already be using algebraic expressions without being aware of it?
- How and why do we use algebraic expressions to evaluate problems?
- How do we write expressions for word problems?
- What numerical properties help us to write expressions?
- How can we make expressions simpler and easier to use?

All of these questions are key to establishing not only a student’s understanding of algebra, but also his or her buy-in to algebraic concepts and desire to learn more. Establishing a foundation with algebraic expressions can mean the difference between, “I get it! This stuff is cool!” and, “Get these letters away from me. Math is about numbers!”

Other products which may be purchased regarding algebraic expressions include:

Express Yourself - Part 1: Evaluating Expressions: Focuses on what algebraic expressions are, why we use them, how they are different from numerical expressions and algebraic equations, and how to evaluate expressions of varying levels of complexity when given values for the variables.

Express Yourself - Part 2: Writing Expressions: Takes students one step further by switching the focus to how to write and use algebraic expressions from word phrases and then for word problems.

Express Yourself - Part 3: Simplifying Expressions: Focuses on simplifying expressions, particularly through use of the Distributive Property and Combining Like Terms.

Express Yourself - Part 4: Review and Unit Test: A comprehensive review and unit assessment for the concepts learned and taught in the first three products.

Express Yourself - The Complete Unit: A bundled, reduced-price version of the four products listed above.

Good luck in your use of the Express Yourself - Simplification Challenge!

Related Products:

If you would like your students to move from algebraic expressions to algebraic equations, take a look at Equation Terminology Puzzles, which introduces students to the language associated with algebraic equations.

Feel free to also check out a growing number of other products that use poetry, songs, games, worksheets, and assessments to make math fun and help students to learn a variety of common core math standards.

Click here to view Riddle Card Products that Help Retain Math Essentials

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Copyright © Barry Schneiderman. This product is to be used by ONE teacher (the purchaser) for his or her classes only. Any reproduction of this material is limited to the purchaser for his or her classes. Beyond this usage, it may not be reproduced, republished, or copied in any way without written permission of the publisher. It may not be distributed to other teachers, a school department, a school, or a school district. This product may not be posted on any website, including but not limited to classroom websites, school websites, or district websites, without written permission of the publisher. Failure to follow the terms of usage represents a copyright violation per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). To receive written permission to copy or post this product beyond the terms of use, ask Barry Schneiderman a question on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Total Pages
4
Included
Teaching Duration
1 hour

### Average Ratings

3.9
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3.9
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3.9
Practicality:
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Total:
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