Task# Introducing Equivalent Expressions 1

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

The purpose of this series of two tasks (the next one is here) is to highlight that while a numerical expression can only take one value, an algebraic expression can take many different values depending on the value of the variable. All work is done out of a context with positive whole numbers, so that discussion can focus on the shift from numerical to algebraic expressions. In part (a), students new to working with exponents may need some help evaluating the expressions correctly. They should know to 'do the parentheses first' from previous grades, but may need reminding that by convention we evaluate exponents before we multiply.