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This lesson provided by:
Author: Sellers Kennington
System:Baldwin County
School:Fairhope Intermediate School
Lesson Plan ID: 24067
Title:

Variables and Algebraic Expressions

Overview/Annotation:

Students will be actively teaching and learning vocabulary associated with algebraic expressions. They will identify each part of an algebraic expression.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
TC2(6-8) 11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
MA2013(6) 13. Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers. [6-EE2]
Local/National Standards:

NM-ALG.6-8.2 Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The student will identify a variable, term, constant, coefficient, and an algebraic expression.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Whiteboard or interactive board
notebook and pencil
worksheet (provided)

Technology Resources Needed:

Internet connection

Background/Preparation:

Students should know what an operation is, and the difference between an expression and equation.

Procedures/Activities:
1.)Say: "Today we are learning about variables and expressions. First, let’s go over some vocabulary." On the overhead, whiteboard, or interactive whiteboard, write the word VARIABLE. Ask the students to tell you what they think a variable is and either you or they write their responses on the board. See if there is a correct answer on the board. If there is, have the class take a vote of what they think the correct one is. If there is no correct answer, you write the correct definition: A VARIABLE is a letter that is used in place of a number. Students should then write the correct definition in their journals/notebooks. Explain that sometimes in the directions the variable is given a value. This value will replace the variable in order to solve the equation. Other times, the variable is NOT assigned a value and the student is to solve the equation to determine the value of the variable.

2.)Say: "Our next word is ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSION" (write this word on the board). "Look at the word and notice that there is a word we already know--expression. Who can tell me what an expression is?" Allow students to respond. Make sure the correct answer is given: an expression is a number sentence without an equal sign. Now ask them what they think ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSION means and either you or they write their responses on the board. See if there is a correct answer on the board. If there is, have the class take a vote of what they think the correct one is. If there is no correct answer, you write the correct definition: An ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSION contains at least one variable, one number, and one operation. Ask them to recall what operations are. An example of an algebraic expression is n + 7. Students should then write the correct definition in their journals/notebooks.

3.)Write on the board the vocabulary word CONSTANT. Again, have the students give examples of what they think this means and either you or they write their responses on the board. Check if a correct answer is on the board. If there is, have the class take a vote of which one they think is correct. If not, you write the correct definition: a CONSTANT is a number that stands by itself. The number 7 in our previous example is a constant. Students should then write the correct definition in their journals/notebooks.

4.)Write on the board the vocabulary word TERM. Again, have the students give examples of what they think this means and either you or they write their responses on the board. Check if a correct answer is on the board. If there is, have the class take a vote of which one they think is correct. If not, you write the correct definition: A TERM is each part of an expression that is separated by an operation. For instance, in our earlier example n + 7 the terms are n and 7. Students should then write the correct definition in their journals/notebooks.

5.)Say: "Now let's identify each part of this ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSION: n + 7 What is the n?" (They should say variable.) "What is the +?" (They should say operation.) "What is the 7?" (They should say constant.) Students should label the parts of an algebraic expression in their journals/notebooks.

6.)Say: "There are times when an algebraic expression has a constant and a variable right next to each other WITHOUT an operation between them. When this happens the constant is not considered a constant. Why not?" (They should recall that the definition says it is a number that stands by itself.) "Since the number no longer is standing by itself and is attached to the variable, the constant is no longer a constant. It is now a coefficient. The definition for coefficient is a number in front of and attached to a variable. For example, in the expression 8x + 3 the 8 is the coefficient and the X is the variable and the 3 is the constant. Who can tell me why the 8 is the coefficient and the 3 is the constant?" Students should then write the correct definition of a constant in their journals/notebooks.

7.)Say: "For a quick review of what we learned today and so I can see what you learned, there is a short worksheet that you are to complete" (attached). Pass out one worksheet to each student. You can grade this as a quiz or daily grade.

8.)Here is a list of websites that can be used to assist in teaching and for extensions:
AAA Math
The Variable Machine
Interactive Math

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. Algebraic expression worksheet.rtf
Vocabulary for Variables and Algebraic Expressions.doc
Assessment Strategies:

The teacher will listen to students responses and check journal/notebook entries. The worksheet (provided) could be graded for daily or quiz grade.

Extension:

The teacher can have a sheet with algebraic equations. The first set of directions would include the value of each variable and the student would attempt substituting to complete the equations. In the second set of instructions, the variable values would not be given and the student should attempt to find the value of the variable. Illuminations has an activity which demonstrates how different expressions can or can not equal each other. The students can do this on the computer individually or you can do with the class.
Pan Balance

Remediation:

EdHelper has worksheets available. Here are a few so that you can download a printable version:
Evaluate Expressions
Order of Operations
Writing Algebraic Expressions

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
Thinkfinity
Thinkfinity
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