Dealing with expressions is the foundation of Algebra. The tricky part is the basic math that is involved. As a high school teacher, I love using expressions to have students practice their basic skills such as operations with positives and negatives and dealing with decimals and fractions. It doesn’t make sense to me to give my students practice problems that look like this: -5 + 8. I need them to know how to do that problem, but why not make it look like this: -5x + 8x. I also want students to use these expressions in a situation like a perimeter problem or an area problem. All of these things help prepare students for tougher problems and it gets them used to setting up problems themselves. I try to use a variety of resources through the first part of the year in Algebra. My daughter and I have both created expressions activities that can be useful for any math teacher that teaches expressions. Have a look below at two of our favorites: