Standard #: MAFS.912.A-SSE.1.1 (Archived Standard)


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Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context.
  1. Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.
  2. Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity. For example, interpret as the product of P and a factor not depending on P.


General Information

Subject Area: Mathematics
Grade: 912
Domain-Subdomain: Algebra: Seeing Structure in Expressions
Cluster: Interpret the structure of expressions. (Algebra 1 - Major Cluster) (Algebra 2 - Major Cluster) -

Clusters should not be sorted from Major to Supporting and then taught in that order. To do so would strip the coherence of the mathematical ideas and miss the opportunity to enhance the major work of the grade with the supporting clusters.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/14
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved - Archived
Assessed: Yes

Test Item Specifications

    Assessed with:
    MAFS.912.A-SSE.2.3



Related Courses

Course Number1111 Course Title222
1200310: Algebra 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200320: Algebra 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200330: Algebra 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200340: Algebra 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200370: Algebra 1-A (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200380: Algebra 1-B (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200400: Foundational Skills in Mathematics 9-12 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1206330: Analytic Geometry (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015 (course terminated))
1200500: Advanced Algebra with Financial Applications (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015 (course terminated))
1200410: Mathematics for College Success (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (course terminated))
1200700: Mathematics for College Algebra (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (course terminated))
7912070: Access Mathematics for Liberal Arts (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7912080: Access Algebra 1A (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7912090: Access Algebra 1B (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000510: Bioscience 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
2000520: Bioscience 3 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
1200315: Algebra 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200335: Algebra 2 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
1200375: Algebra 1-A for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200385: Algebra 1-B for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7912100: Fundamental Algebraic Skills (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
1207300: Liberal Arts Mathematics 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (course terminated))
7912075: Access Algebra 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7912095: Access Algebra 2 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1200387: Mathematics for Data and Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond)


Related Resources

Formative Assessments

Name Description
Interpreting Basic Tax

Students are asked to interpret the parts of an equation used to calculate the total purchase price including tax of a set of items.

Dot Expressions

Students are asked to explain how parts of an algebraic expression relate to the number and type of symbols in a sequence of diagrams.

What Happens?

Students are asked to determine how the volume of a cone will change when its dimensions are changed.

Lesson Plans

Name Description
Dissecting an Expression

This lesson will focus on how to interpret an algebraic expression. Students will be able to identify the parts of an algebraic expression and the meaning of those parts.

Free Fall Clock and Reaction Time!

This will be a lesson designed to introduce students to the concept of 9.81 m/s2 as a sort of clock that can be used for solving all kinematics equations where a = g.

Sorting Equations and Identities This lesson is intended to help you assess how well students are able to:
  • Recognize the differences between equations and identities.
  • Substitute numbers into algebraic statements in order to test their validity in special cases.
  • Resist common errors when manipulating expressions such as 2(x – 3) = 2x – 3; (x + 3)2 = x2 + 32.
  • Carry out correct algebraic manipulations.
It also aims to encourage discussion on some common misconceptions about algebra.
Manipulating Polynomials This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to manipulate and calculate with polynomials. In particular, it aims to identify and help students who have difficulties in switching between visual and algebraic representations of polynomial expressions, performing arithmetic operations on algebraic representations of polynomials, factorizing and expanding appropriately when it helps to make the operations easier.

Original Student Tutorial

Name Description
Identifying Parts of Linear Expressions

Learn to identify and interpret parts of linear expressions in terms of mathematical or real-world contexts in this original tutorial.

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Name Description
Base 16 Notation in Computing

Listen in as a computing enthusiast describes how hexadecimal notation is used to express big numbers in just a little space.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Problem-Solving Tasks

Name Description
Quadrupling Leads to Halving

Students explore the structure of the operation s/(vn). This question provides students with an opportunity to see expressions as constructed out of a sequence of operations: first taking the square root of n, then dividing the result of that operation into s.

The Physics Professor

Students write explanations of the structure and function of a mathematical expression.

Throwing Horseshoes

Students evaluate equivalent constructions of the same expression to determine which is the most useful for determining a maximum value.

The Bank Account

Students explore an expression that calculates the balance of a bank account with compounding interest.

Radius of a Cylinder

Students are asked to interpret the effect on the value of an expression given a change in value of one of the variables.

Mixing Fertilizer

Students examine and answer questions related to a scenario similar to a "mixture" problem involving two different mixtures of fertilizer. In this example, students determine and then compare expressions that correspond to concentrations of various mixtures. Ultimately, students generalize the problem and verify conclusions using algebraic rather than numerical expressions.

Mixing Candies

Students are asked to interpret expressions and equations within the context of the amounts of caramels and truffles in a box of candy.

Kitchen Floor Tiles

This problem asks students to consider algebraic expressions calculating the number of floor tiles in given patterns. The purpose of this task is to give students practice in reading, analyzing, and constructing algebraic expressions, attending to the relationship between the form of an expression and the context from which it arises. The context here is intentionally thin; the point is not to provide a practical application to kitchen floors, but to give a framework that imbues the expressions with an external meaning.

Increasing or Decreasing? Variation 1

Students examine variable expression that is a complex fraction with two distinct unit fractions in the denominator. Students are asked to consider how increasing one variable will affect the value of the entire expression. The variable expression is used in physics and describes the combined resistance of two resistors in parallel.

Delivery Trucks

This resource describes a simple scenario which can be represented by the use of variables. Students are asked to examine several variable expressions, interpret their meaning, and describe what quantities they each represent in the given context.

Animal Populations

In this task students interpret the relative size of variable expressions involving two variables in the context of a real world situation. All given expressions can be interpreted as quantities that one might study when looking at two animal populations.

Seeing Dots

The purpose of this task is to identify the structure in the two algebraic expressions by interpreting them in terms of a geometric context. Students will have likely seen this type of process before, so the principal source of challenge in this task is to encourage a multitude and variety of approaches, both in terms of the geometric argument and in terms of the algebraic manipulation.

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Name Description
Sample Algebra 1 Curriculum Plan Using CMAP

This sample Algebra 1 CMAP is a fully customizable resource and curriculum-planning tool that provides a framework for the Algebra 1 Course. The units and standards are customizable and the CMAP allows instructors to add lessons, worksheets, and other resources as needed. This CMAP also includes rows that automatically filter and display Math Formative Assessments System tasks, E-Learning Original Student Tutorials and Perspectives Videos that are aligned to the standards, available on CPALMS.

Learn more about the sample Algebra 1 CMAP, its features and customizability by watching the following video:

Using this CMAP

To view an introduction on the CMAP tool, please .

To view the CMAP, click on the "Open Resource Page" button above; be sure you are logged in to your iCPALMS account.

To use this CMAP, click on the "Clone" button once the CMAP opens in the "Open Resource Page." Once the CMAP is cloned, you will be able to see it as a class inside your iCPALMS My Planner (CMAPs) app.

To access your My Planner App and the cloned CMAP, click on the iCPALMS tab in the top menu.

All CMAP tutorials can be found within the iCPALMS Planner App or at the following URL: http://www.cpalms.org/support/tutorials_and_informational_videos.aspx

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorial

Name Description
Identifying Parts of Linear Expressions:

Learn to identify and interpret parts of linear expressions in terms of mathematical or real-world contexts in this original tutorial.

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Name Description
Base 16 Notation in Computing:

Listen in as a computing enthusiast describes how hexadecimal notation is used to express big numbers in just a little space.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Problem-Solving Tasks

Name Description
Quadrupling Leads to Halving:

Students explore the structure of the operation s/(vn). This question provides students with an opportunity to see expressions as constructed out of a sequence of operations: first taking the square root of n, then dividing the result of that operation into s.

Radius of a Cylinder:

Students are asked to interpret the effect on the value of an expression given a change in value of one of the variables.

Mixing Fertilizer:

Students examine and answer questions related to a scenario similar to a "mixture" problem involving two different mixtures of fertilizer. In this example, students determine and then compare expressions that correspond to concentrations of various mixtures. Ultimately, students generalize the problem and verify conclusions using algebraic rather than numerical expressions.

Mixing Candies:

Students are asked to interpret expressions and equations within the context of the amounts of caramels and truffles in a box of candy.

Kitchen Floor Tiles:

This problem asks students to consider algebraic expressions calculating the number of floor tiles in given patterns. The purpose of this task is to give students practice in reading, analyzing, and constructing algebraic expressions, attending to the relationship between the form of an expression and the context from which it arises. The context here is intentionally thin; the point is not to provide a practical application to kitchen floors, but to give a framework that imbues the expressions with an external meaning.

Delivery Trucks:

This resource describes a simple scenario which can be represented by the use of variables. Students are asked to examine several variable expressions, interpret their meaning, and describe what quantities they each represent in the given context.

Animal Populations:

In this task students interpret the relative size of variable expressions involving two variables in the context of a real world situation. All given expressions can be interpreted as quantities that one might study when looking at two animal populations.

Seeing Dots:

The purpose of this task is to identify the structure in the two algebraic expressions by interpreting them in terms of a geometric context. Students will have likely seen this type of process before, so the principal source of challenge in this task is to encourage a multitude and variety of approaches, both in terms of the geometric argument and in terms of the algebraic manipulation.



Parent Resources

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Name Description
Base 16 Notation in Computing:

Listen in as a computing enthusiast describes how hexadecimal notation is used to express big numbers in just a little space.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Problem-Solving Tasks

Name Description
Quadrupling Leads to Halving:

Students explore the structure of the operation s/(vn). This question provides students with an opportunity to see expressions as constructed out of a sequence of operations: first taking the square root of n, then dividing the result of that operation into s.

Radius of a Cylinder:

Students are asked to interpret the effect on the value of an expression given a change in value of one of the variables.

Mixing Fertilizer:

Students examine and answer questions related to a scenario similar to a "mixture" problem involving two different mixtures of fertilizer. In this example, students determine and then compare expressions that correspond to concentrations of various mixtures. Ultimately, students generalize the problem and verify conclusions using algebraic rather than numerical expressions.

Mixing Candies:

Students are asked to interpret expressions and equations within the context of the amounts of caramels and truffles in a box of candy.

Kitchen Floor Tiles:

This problem asks students to consider algebraic expressions calculating the number of floor tiles in given patterns. The purpose of this task is to give students practice in reading, analyzing, and constructing algebraic expressions, attending to the relationship between the form of an expression and the context from which it arises. The context here is intentionally thin; the point is not to provide a practical application to kitchen floors, but to give a framework that imbues the expressions with an external meaning.

Delivery Trucks:

This resource describes a simple scenario which can be represented by the use of variables. Students are asked to examine several variable expressions, interpret their meaning, and describe what quantities they each represent in the given context.

Animal Populations:

In this task students interpret the relative size of variable expressions involving two variables in the context of a real world situation. All given expressions can be interpreted as quantities that one might study when looking at two animal populations.

Seeing Dots:

The purpose of this task is to identify the structure in the two algebraic expressions by interpreting them in terms of a geometric context. Students will have likely seen this type of process before, so the principal source of challenge in this task is to encourage a multitude and variety of approaches, both in terms of the geometric argument and in terms of the algebraic manipulation.



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