This week students' prior knowledge on the distributive property is extended to algebraic expressions that include rational numbers as students identify more complicated equivalent expressions. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is thinking that the apperance of rational numbers will change when expressions are equivalent. The concept is developed through work with expressions, which allows students to experiment with the expressions and justifying why two expressions are equivalent. This work helps students deepen their understanding of operations because we can use the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions. Students engage in Mathematical Practice 3 (construct viable arguments) as they justify their choices for which expressions are equivalent. By Friday, students will bring prior knowledge of solving 1-step equations from 6th grade. This prior knowledge is extended to multi-step equations as students solve for a missing value in an equation of the type px+q=r. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is thinking that the equations we encounter always just use one operation, since that is what they studied in 6th grade.
Please make sure your child has turned in their The Life Aquatic Project. It was due last Friday.
I have been teaching 7th grade Mathematics for 9 years. I have worked at two IB MYP schools, one in Houston, Texas, and at West End Middle for 7 years. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.