Collecting like terms lesson: TES Maths Resource of the Week

To see all of the work I do for TES Maths, including Resource of the Week, Inspect the Spec, Pedagogy Place, Maths Newsletters and Topic Collections, please visit the TES Maths Blog here

What is it?
Regular readers/watchers of my Resource of the Week series will know that I am a big fan of complete “lessons” on TES. Now before you say it, I know that the lesson is perhaps not the correct unit of time to think of when planning – indeed, you would do well to fit all the content of this resource into a 3 hour lesson, let alone a 50 minute one. However, I find it so useful and illuminating to see a fellow teacher planning from the introduction of the concept through to the challenging questions at the end. That view of their thought-processes allows me a better §understanding of how I can adapt and use the resource with my own students.

This particular lesson is on collecting like terms, and it is brilliant! I especially love the starter, which uses a combination of examples and non-examples to provide a solid foundation for students as to what exactly we mean by the phrase “like term” – and I have certainly seen enough students over the years be confused by that! We then progress through some lovely worked examples, before students are set a sequence of practice questions that are designed in a way to allow them to focus on the key concepts instead of rushing through on autopilot. All of this enables us to build towards some contextual questions and a problem solving challenge at the end.

How can it be used?
As I always say, the vast majority of resources on TES need to be adapted to suits the needs of your class. A good resource for one teacher may not be a good resource for another. This lesson is a perfect case in point. The 36 slides may need to be added to, or slides may need removing. It may run over the course of 2 lessons, or it may take 5. You will need to think of questions to ask your students, and how you are going to deal with any misconceptions that come to light.

But one thing is for sure – the structure of the resources and content contained within have the potential to help your students develop a very solid understanding of collecting like terms.

Thank you for sharing!
Craig Barton

Download: Collecting like terms lesson
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