Tag Archives: algebraic expressions

Fun with ‘definitions’ in algebra

WARNING:  use the following definitions with great caution. A number phrase is a mathematical phrase which does not express a complete thought. An arithmetic expression is any grammatically sensible expression made up of numbers and (possibly) arithmetic operations (like addition, division, taking the absolute value, etc). Notice that it only has to be grammatically sensible; an undefined expression like 5/0 is… Read More »

Teaching algebraic expressions – Counting smileys

This is an introductory lesson for teaching the concept of variable and algebraic expressions through problem solving. The problem solving task combines numerical, geometric, and algebraic thinking.  The figure below shows the standard version of the task. Of course some easier versions would ask for the 5th figure, then perhaps 10th figure, then the 100th… Read More »

Teach for conceptual and practical understanding

Whit Ford left this comment on my post Curriculum Change and Understanding by Design: What are they solving? He makes a lot of sense. I just have to share it. I believe the method of planning lessons is less important than WHAT you are asking the students to think about. Most Algebra I and II… Read More »

Patterns in the tables of integers

Mathematics is said to be the science of patterns. Activities that involve pattern searching is a great way to engage students in mathematical thinking. Here are some of my favorites for teaching positive and negative integers. If you are wondering why most of my posts are about integers it’s because I’m doing a Lesson Study… Read More »

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