# Mathematical Vocabulary

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Students play an Expressions Game in which they describe expressions to their partners using the vocabulary of expressions: term, coefficient, exponent, constant, and variable. Their partners try to write the correct expressions based on the descriptions.

# Key Concepts

Mathematical expressions have parts, and these parts have names. These names allow us to communicate with others in a precise way.

• A variable is a symbol (usually a letter) in an expression that can be replaced by a number.
• A term is a number, a variable, or a product of numbers and variables. Terms are separated by the operator symbols + (plus) and – (minus).
• A coefficient is a symbol (usually a number) that multiplies the variable in an algebraic expression.
• An exponent tells how many copies of a number or variable are multiplied together.
• A constant is a number. In an expression, it can be a constant term or a constant coefficient. In the expression 2x + 3, 2 is a constant coefficient and 3 is a constant term.

# Goals and Learning Objectives

• Identify parts of an expression using appropriate mathematical vocabulary.
• Write expressions that fit specific descriptions (for example, the expression is the sum of two terms each with a different variable).