If I ask my students, "What is Algebra all about?" I can guarantee that at least 1/3rd will say solving equations. I'm not sure this is necessarily bad, after all we do spend much of Algebra dealing with equations. I hope that one day most of my students will answer that Algebra is all about the processes by which rationally problems are observed, analyzed and then solved. (or something like that)
Here I present, Expressions, Equations and Inequalities. Of the three, I would say that the last is most confusing and yet also the most "real-life", and yet the hardest to use in the classroom, without being trivial. Its also one of the hardest things for most students to use.
24-27 is the "meat and potatoes" or "curry and rice" of most Algebra classes. I spend more time helping students hone these skills than just about anything else. I know that most years my students have had to practice multiplying binomials (20-23), especially a binomial squared. Factoring was also a big issue in recent students as well.
What steps do you need to use to solve the previous problem? Do the decimals with different place values make the problem more difficult, or make it look more difficult? Below are some more advanced examples:
The score range for each of these problems is the same. The first problem requires greater literacy skills and the second requires greater computational skills. We all struggle in different areas, which do you find more difficult?
The next range includes :"write expressions, equations and inequalities for common algebra settings". We should be better at this. We will be better at this.
If you are one of my students then the practice provided for this standard includes: translating expressions and Equations Basketball