AIM: How can we identify and combine like terms?
HW: Combine Like Terms Worksheet 2, click below
How many apples are there? How many oranges are there? How does this connect to like-terms?
Classwork: Combining like terms is like apples and oranges. Terms that belong together can be added or subtracted--using their respective coefficients. Terms that are not "like" cannot be combined and must stay apart. In order for terms to "like," they must have the same variable and exponents. [For example 2x^2 (x to the second power) and -5x^2 are both like terms. However 4x and 9 x^2 are not like terms.] We played a matching game to help build our ability to identify like terms.
Students used strategies such as circling like terms, then performing the math on the coefficients. Students can also reorder the expressions, using the commutative property of addition, if they prefer to simplify in that manner.