Lesson plan

14. Use number puzzles to compare arithmetic and algebraic approaches to solving problems (A)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.7.EE.B.4a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/7/EE/B/4/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7
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Lesson objective: Compare algebraic and arithmetic approaches to problem solving using number puzzles.

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and understanding of problem solving to a mathematical situation. Students are asked to solve a number puzzle using an arithmetic approach and an algebraic approach. They will simplify the algebraic expression to show how the puzzle works.

Key Concept students will use: 

  • Arithmetic and algebraic approaches to problem solving are related. They share the same operations and solutions.

Skills students will use:

  • Simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Solving problems arithmetically
  • Translating words into algebraic expressions

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 7 (Look for and make use of structure) as they compare the two approaches. They will use the same operations while they solve the puzzle using a single number or simplify the expression to demonstrate the mathematics behind the solution.

Key vocabulary: 

  • algebraic approach
  • arithmetic approach
  • expression
  • variable