Grades 9-12: Algebra I – Interpreting Algebraic Expressions


3 apple rating


A-SSE: Interpret the structure of expressions.

A-APR: Rewrite rational expressions.

Standards for Mathematical Practices

This lesson involves a range of mathematical practices from the standards, with emphasis on:

MP.1 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

MP.2 Look for and make use of structure.


This unit “Interpreting Algebraic Expressions” from is intended to help assess how well students are able to translate between words, symbols, tables, and area representations of algebraic expressions. It will help to identify and support students who have difficulty in: (1) Recognizing the order of algebraic operations; (2) Recognizing equivalent expressions; (3) Understanding the distributive laws of multiplication and division over addition (expansion of parentheses).


Connecticut teachers should be aware that the unit is a high quality resource, but is missing the following components:

Differentiation of Instruction: Explicit supports for English language learners or students with special needs are not included.

Application: More opportunities are needed for independent application in real-world situations.

Learning Extension: Not included for high interest/ ability students.


The unit is aligned to the CCSS and centers around a performance task. In the task, students are presented with problem-solving situations in which they write and interpret algebraic expressions. Unit materials include projector resources, teacher guide, student materials and academic vocabulary and suggestions for timing unit components.