High School: Algebra » Seeing Structure in Expressions

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Standards in this domain:

Interpret the structure of expressions.

Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context.*
Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.
Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity. For example, interpret P(1+r)n as the product of P and a factor not depending on P.
Use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it. For example, see x4 - y4 as (x2)2 - (y2)2, thus recognizing it as a difference of squares that can be factored as (x2 - y2)(x2 + y2).

Write expressions in equivalent forms to solve problems.

Choose and produce an equivalent form of an expression to reveal and explain properties of the quantity represented by the expression.*
Factor a quadratic expression to reveal the zeros of the function it defines.
Complete the square in a quadratic expression to reveal the maximum or minimum value of the function it defines.
Use the properties of exponents to transform expressions for exponential functions. For example the expression 1.15t can be rewritten as (1.151/12)12t ≈ 1.01212t to reveal the approximate equivalent monthly interest rate if the annual rate is 15%.
Derive the formula for the sum of a finite geometric series (when the common ratio is not 1), and use the formula to solve problems. For example, calculate mortgage payments.*