Traditionally, the goal of Algebra instruction has been to develop of students’ proficiency in working with expressions and equations. This work includes simplifying, factoring, expanding, evaluating, or solving expressions and equations. In addition to these traditional tasks, Say It With Symbols develops the understanding of using symbolic expressions to represent and reason about relationships. The students will write and interpret equivalent expressions, combine expressions to form new expressions, predict patterns of change represented by an equation or expression, and solve equations. This manipulation of symbolic expressions is explored using the properties of equality and the Distributive and Commutative Properties. They will see that the properties reveal new information about a given context by critically examining each part of an expression and explaining how each part relates to the original expression.
This Unit also puts emphasis on multiple representations, such as graphic, tabular, and symbolic representations. Students examine the graph and table of an expression as well as the context the expression models. Having access to graphing calculators and computers will provide students with a natural focus on functions and modeling patterns of quantitative change. If you are teaching this Unit for Grade 8 content only, you may skip Problems 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 and 5.3. However, parts of Problem 4.4 should be assigned as students need experience in recognizing which function is needed to solve the problem.Resource