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lesson 6
1 hour

Algebraic Expressions-The Distributive Property


The previous five lessons introduced the graphs of the functions students will study in this algebra course. These next lessons change the focus from graphs to expressions and their structures. In Grades 5–8, the term expression was
described but not formally defined, and many subtleties may have been overlooked. For example, the associative property may not have been made explicit; 3 ∙ 5 ∙ 7, for instance, is really (3 ∙ 5) ∙ 7.

The lessons that follow will formally define algebraic expression and the equivalency of algebraic expressions and simultaneously introduce students to the notion of a recursive definition, which later becomes a major aspect of Algebra I (recursive sequences). Lesson 6 begins with an expression-building competition. As this is a strange, abrupt change of direction for students from the previous five lessons, it may be worthwhile to mention this change.


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From of the New York State Education Department. Algebra I Module 1, Topic B, Lesson 6. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29.
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