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Algebraic expressions – a key stepping stone toward a complete understanding of algebra. This product is the second of four products which focus on the wonderful world of algebraic expressions. The first product, Express Yourself - Part 1: Evaluating Expressions, focused 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. This product, Express Yourself – Part 2: Writing Expressions, takes the students one step further by switching the focus to how to write and use algebraic expressions from word phrases and then to solve word problems. The third product, Express Yourself - Part 3: Simplifying Expressions, focuses on simplifying expressions, manipulating variables algebraically using various number properties including the distributive property. The fourth product, Express Yourself - Part 4: Review and Unit Test, is a comprehensive review and unit assessment for the concepts learned and taught in the first three. The four products have now also been bundled into Express Yourself - The Complete Unit, which includes all four products at a discounted price.
This product, Express Yourself - Part 2: Writing Expressions, contains the following components:
Properties of Numbers: Includes an introductory activity and a two-page discovery worksheet. Before students begin to write expressions, they must understand a few properties, such as the Commutative Property, so that they know, for instance, in what order to write the terms in a given expression. These activities introduce the Commutative, Associative, and Identity Properties in a quick and creative way.
Writing Expressions from Phrases: Includes a warm-up activity, a guided notes page, and a two-page worksheet / puzzle. The warm-up activity gets the student’s creative juices flowing regarding how to convert words that they commonly see into mathematical statements consisting of numbers, operations, and variables. The guided notes page allows the teacher to walk the students through a step-by-step process for how to write an algebraic expression and gives them practice in doing so. The worksheet asks the students to write a myriad of algebraic expressions of increasing difficulty, and the puzzle solidifies these concepts even further. Using mathematical properties and order of operations correctly are emphasized throughout these activities.
The Algebraic Expression Cheer: Yes, that is correct, “Cheer”. This cheer, which is also included in Express Yourself - Part 1: Evaluating Expressions, is a crowd favorite with the students, gets them thinking even further about expressions, and most importantly gets them pumped up for the activities to follow. Do it with the students as often as necessary to keep that enthusiasm going!
Writing and Evaluating Expressions for Word Problems: Includes a warm-up activity, two-pages of guided notes, and two two-page word problem worksheets. The culmination of all previous activities, this activity is certainly the most important of all. The warm-up activity reviews evaluating expressions and writing expressions for phrases and begins to explore word problems. The guided notes allow the teacher to walk the students through a step-by-step process for how to set up expressions for word problems (and evaluate them for given values). This step is critical as many students struggle with the sheer quantity of words on the page and also with the task of converting these words into algebraic expressions that make sense. The concept of “making notes around the text” is introduced, enabling the students to write algebraic expressions with ease (and a little practice!). This begins the process of readying them for a future Algebra 1 course. The word problem worksheets are complete with pictures and problem types that range from money to cookies to cats to Sumo Wrestling to geometry to converting between types of temperature. They take the students to the final level of writing expressions, asking them to write and then evaluate simple to complex algebraic expressions involving one, two, or three operations.
Good luck in your use of Express Yourself Part 2 – Writing Expressions!
As mentioned above, this product is ideally used immediately after using Express Yourself - Part 1: Evaluating Expressions.
If your students are not familiar with how to execute operations in the correct order, you may want to go through part or all of Order of Operations Inundation to address numerical expressions and PEMDAS prior to tackling algebraic expressions.
If you would like your students to move from algebraic expressions to algebraic equations, take a look at Equations With Ned, a brand new unit that introduces students to one-step equations in an unique and exciting way, and 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 Algebraic Equation Products
Click here to view Divisibility Rule Products
Click here to view Elementary to Middle School Transition Products
Click here to view Fraction Products
Click here to view Geometry Products
Click here to view Integer and Order of Operations Products
Click here to view Probability Products
Click here to view Ratio-Rate-Proportion Products
Click here to view Riddle Card Products that Help Retain Math Essentials
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