# Simplify Expressions: Equivalent Expressions Cut & Paste {FREE}

*Help your kids make sense of algebraic expressions as they simplify expressions & combine like terms in this FREE equivalent expressions cut & paste activity.*

Understanding how to work with expressions involving **variables** can be such a **huge leap** for kids. On more than one occasion, I’ve had students tell me, “I was great at math until it started to involve letters. What’s up with that??” What I constantly tried to convey to my students was that a variable is still **just a number**. When you’re feeling stuck, replace it with a number to try and figure out what’s going on. So if your students are feeling frustrated or need extra practice simplifying and evaluating expressions, you will love this **simple equivalent expressions cut & paste activity**.

***Please Note**: This post contains affiliate links which help support this site. Read our full disclosure policy here.*

**Materials Needed:**

- Scissors
- Glue
- Student handout (free in my shop at the link below)

**Included in the Equivalent Expressions Activity:**

There **is one cut and paste activity** included in the download.

The first requires students to **simplify expressions**, and then **match them to the simplified version**.

Then students glue them on their answer sheet to show that the expressions are **equivalent to each other**.

This is an **important distinction**, because often, students think that they are *changing an expression to something else*. But in reality, the **expressions are equivalent**, just *written a different way*.

This will be important for them to know and understand as they move on to **solving equations**.

An equation is stating up front that the expressions on either side of the equal sign are just that: **equal**. Therefore, as students manipulate the expressions, they have to be careful to keep them equal (i.e. not changing something on* one side* but *not the other*).

To then practice **evaluating their expressions**, have students plug in a value to each expression to ensure that they **give the same solution**.

This might be more challenging for students, and depending on the age and abilities of your students, may require some guidance.

Evaluating when *x = 0* is the easiest way to do this, but I would encourage you to let students think and try things on their own before telling them what to do. This will **force them to think about what makes two expressions equal or not**.

*If you enjoy this lesson, become a Math Geek Mama+ member and gain access to the entire library of engaging math lessons like this one, hundreds of math games and low-prep practice worksheets for grades 5-8!*

**Learn more about Math Geek Mama+ right HERE**.

And finally, this download also includes **an answer key** to make checking students’ work easy.

If you are teaching older students who are not interested in the time it takes to cut & paste, they can also **write in the matching expressions on the blank answer sheet**.

Just be sure they **cross out each expression as they use it** so they don’t accidentally use an expression more than once.

### {Click HERE to go to my shop and get this FREE Simplify Expressions Cut & Paste Activity!}

Looking for more Algebra resources? Check out this post full of helpful and FREE lessons and activities.

## One Comment

Comments are closed.