Collecting Like Terms
In algebra, “like terms” are those that are of the same letter, like 2a and 5a. These can be gathered together, so instead of writing 2a + 5a, it can be simplified to 7a. HOWEVER, different terms, For example:
2 bananas + 3 apples + 4 apples added together is 2 bananas and 7 apples. As apples and bananas are different, these must be kept separate.
In the same way, x and y cannot be simplified and must remain as x + y.
Simplify 7t – 3 – 3t + 9.
7t – 3 – 3t + 9 = 7t – 3t + 9 – 3
= 4t + 6
Bright eleven year old children love the challenge of topics like `Collecting Like Terms'.