I created this Expression Equation Inequality Foldable to give my Algebra 1 students practice translating and sorting between expressions, equations, and inequalities. We glued the resulting foldable in our Algebra 1 interactive notebooks.

I’m structuring my course a bit differently this year. This year, my goal is to give my students more meaningful problems to solve. I want to contextualize every problem possible. In the past, I’ve given my students lots of equations to solve that were just numbers and variables without meaning. I’ve given my students written expressions to translate into algebraic expressions without giving them a reason for why we needed to translate them. This year, my goal is to set up my course so that students start to see how everything we are doing ties together.

My first goal of the year was to get students translating expressions, differentiating between expressions, equations, and inequalities, and identifying their parts.

To kick off the lesson, we took notes on the definitions of expressions, equations, and inequalities. Then, I had each class make their own examples of each. I found that almost all of my classes wanted to create expressions, equations, and inequalities that were all numbers and no variables. At first, this frustrated me. Then, I began to realize that this was a great form of formative assessment. It showed me exactly what my students were comfortable with.

On the inside of the foldable, there are three sections: expressions, equations, and inequalities.

I also gave students 12 boxes. Each box had an expression, an equation, or an inequality written in word form.

The first thing we did was decide whether each box was an expression, equation, or inequality. Once they were all glued into our foldable, we went through each one and highlighted the key terms. We used these key terms to translate them into algebra.

We wrote definitions for each and created examples as a class.

On the inside, students translated twelve statements written in words to symbols. Then, they classified each statement as an expression, equation, or inequality.

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