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Common Core High School Algebra Teaching and Learning Resources

Domain: CED: Creating Equations

Common Core Math

Select the cluster for resources on this page:

  • CED-A: Create equations that describe numbers or relationships

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CED-A: Create equations that describe numbers or relationships



Technology-enhanced investigations: Math Dictionary: Key vocabulary for this domain.  Use with CED-A:

coordinate plane graph of an equation or inequality quadratic equation solve analytically
equation of a line graphic methods rational equation solve graphically
equation rules inequality rational function system of equations
exponential function/model inequality rules restricted domain system of inequalities
formula linear inequality root of an equation variable
function linear system of equations solution verify a solution


Concord Consortium STEM resources: Mathematics:  Each of the following includes an applet, student activity, teacher lesson plan, and student assessment.

  • Linear Equations: Ski Slope: Learn about the numeric representation of the slope of a line, including using rise and run to graph lines with a given slope.  Aligns with standard CED-A.2.
  • y= mx + b: Learn to graph a line using its slope and y-intercept, or to identify the slope and y-intercept from a linear equation written in slope-intercept form.  Aligns with standard CED-A.2, and REI-D.10.
  • Linear Equations: Points, Intercepts, and Slopes, Oh My!: Students learn to graph lines using the x- and y-intercepts of equations, as well as how to graph a line when given an equation in point-slope form.  Aligns with standard CED-A.2, and REI-D.10.
  • Linear Equations: Word Problems:  Learn to apply linear equations and their graphs to real-world problems. Write an equation based on a word problem, and graph the line described by your equation. Relate the equation and the line to the situation described in words.  Aligns with CED-A.2 and REI-D.10.
  • Solving Systems of Equations: Two linear equations, with two variables, are presented and students use graphs to solve the system of equations. Students graph the lines and solve the problem using the graphs.  Aligns with CED-A.2 and REI-C.6.
  • Systems of Equations: Word Problems 1: Students explore two real-life scenarios that involve solving systems of equations. The first situation involves mixing chemicals to create a new solution while the second situation involves cost and revenue for a bake sale.  Aligns with CED-A.2 and REI-C.6.
  • Systems of Equations: Word Problems 2: Students explore two new scenarios that involve solving systems of equations. The first situation involves the travel time for a round trip on an airplane, while the second situation involves calculating the numbers of students and adults attending a high school musical.  Aligns with CED-A.2 and REI-C.6.

HOT: Online slope calculator for graphing two points on a coordinate plane and showing the slope-intercept equation, including the rise and run, on the coordinate axes. Interactively change slope, intercepts, rise over run or more for reverse calculations. It includes math content to explain the theory.  This is a great tool to explore linear equations in slope-intercept form.  Aligns with CED-A.2.


  • Lesson set: Solve problems with equations and inequalities in one variable: This is a series of six video lessons that also include guided practice on this topic.  Videos demonstrate how to create and solve: 1.  linear inequalities, 2. quadratic equations, 3. quadratic inequalities, 4. rational equations by expressing relationships as unit rates, 5. simple exponential functions by examining exponential growth and decay problems, and 6.  exponential equations by using a table of values.  Aligns with standard CED-A.1.
  • Lesson set: Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities (non-linear functions): This is a series of five video lessons that also include guided practice on this topic.  Videos demonstrate how to create an equation for a geometric sequence involving exponential growth or decay by making a table and drawing a graph; how to represent solutions and constraints to systems of linear inequalities by graphing; how to solve problems involving quadratic functions by using a table of values; and how to create an equation for a simple rational function by using a graph and a table of values.  Aligns with standard CED-A.2.
  • Lesson set: Represent constraints by equations or inequalities, and by systems of equations and/or inequalities: This is a series of four video lessons that also include guided practice on this topic.  Aligns with standard CED-A.3. Explore multiple types of graphs with Make Your Own Graphs.  Select a Function Grapher and Calculator (also graphs polar forms), an Equation Grapher (e.g., great for conics), and more.  You can begin by exploring linear and quadratic graphs.  Aligns with CED-A.2.

MIT BLOSSOMS: Video lessons with additional teacher and learner resources.  Descriptions are from the video summaries.

  • Free Fall: "This video lesson is an example of "teaching for understanding" in lieu of providing students with formulas for determining the height of a dropped (or projected) object at any time during its fall. The concept presented here of creating a chart to organize and analyze data collected in a simple experiment is broadly useful."  Aligns with Algebra standard CED-A.2 and Function standards IF-B.6, IF-C.7.a, and LE-A.1.a.
  • The Quadratic Equation: It’s Hip to Be Squared: "The lesson begins with three quadratics and their graphs (three parabolas):  y = x2 - 2x + (0 or 1 or 2). The prerequisite or co-requisite is some working experience with algebra, like factoring x2 -2x into x(x-2). The objective is to connect four things: the formula for y, the graph of y (a parabola), the roots of y and the minimum or maximum of y."  Aligns with Algebra standards SSE-B.3.a, CED-A.2, and REI-B.4.b and Function standards IF-B.4, IF-C.7.a, IF-C.8.a, BF-B.3.
  • The Power of Exponentials, Big and Small: "Exponential growth is keenly applicable to a variety of different fields ranging from cell growth in biology, nuclear chain reactions in physics to computational complexity in computer science. In this lesson, through various examples and activities, [the presenters] have tried to compare exponential growth to polynomial growth and to develop an insight about how quickly the number can grow or decay in exponentials."  Aligns with Algebra standards SSE-B.3.c and CED-A.2 and Function standards IF-A.3, IF-C.7.(a, c, e), IF-C.8.b, and LE-A.1.(a, c).
  • Selfish Drivers: The Braess Paradox and Traffic Planning: "The idea of this lesson is to introduce, in a simplified manner, the so-called Braess Paradox by providing simple examples to clarify that the addition of some new roads to a network does not always lead to an improvement in the liquidity of the traffic; in some cases it might even increase the time required to get from one point to another if all drivers are selfish. The educational objectives for this lesson can be summarized as follows: providing a practical application of mathematics; indicating the importance of scientific research; training the students on methods of counting and surveying all the possibilities in a given problem; and introducing Nash Equilibrium and Braess Paradox in a simplified manner by visual examples."  Aligns with CED-A.3 and REI-C.6.

Ohio Resource Center on YouTube: Tutorials for High School Mathematics.  Select the following: Types of Algebra Word Problems and How to Solve Them Among those are complete explanations and how to's for age, average, coin, consecutive integer, distance, fraction, geometry, interest, lever, mixture, number sequences, ratio, proportion, symbol, and work problems.

YouTube video lessons.  Use the following with CED-A.4:

Wolfram Demonstrations Project: Download the free Wolfram CDF player to interact with the following manipulatives:

Thinking Mathematics:

Purplemath: Translating Word Problems: Keywords and Worked Examples Following this are sections with explanations and examples of typical word problems that learners encounter, including the following:

Khan Academy video lessons and practice problems: Systems of Equations Word Problems

Additional YouTube video lessons:

  • Distance = Rate x Time (Airplanes traveling in opposite directions)
  • Coins (coins consisting of dimes and nickels)
  • Rate of Work Problems (How much time does it take to complete the job if two people or things work together?)
  • Investments (Use Interest =Principal x Rate: Money was invested, part at one rate and part at another rate.  The total interest in one year is provided.  How much was invested at each rate?)

Multiple Choice:

CK-12: Algebra: Video examples, practice problems online, and real world applications.  The following align with CED-A.2: Tutorials on equations.  Examples are shown.  Learners then complete 10 multiple choice problems in each section.  Aligns with CED-A.2:


Achieve the Core: Quadratic Equations Mini-Assessment (pdf or Word docx) can be used to evaluate students' understanding of algebra standards REI-B.4 and CED-A.1 in order to prepare to teach this material or to check for student ability to demonstrate understanding and apply these concepts.

West Texas A & M University: Virtual Math Lab: Intermediate Algebra: Tutorial 16: Equations of Lines.  Use with CED-A.1.

Khan Academy:  Practice questions with videos.  Use the following with CED-A.2:

Algebra Lab:

Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP): Mathematical Modeling Handbook (Sample).  This sample mathematical modeling module aligns to Common Core Standards.  It contains teacher guidance for implementation and student questions to complete during their investigation:

  • The module For the Birds aligns to number and quantity standards Q-A.1 and Q-A.2, and algebra standard CED-A.4.

Performance tasks:

Illustrative Mathematics: Algebra:

Inside Mathematics: MARS Tasks:

  • Number Towers: Learners form and solve equations obtained from a number pattern.  This task aligns with algebra standards CED-A.2 and CED-A.3.
  • Expressions: Learners work with algebraic expressions for areas and perimeters of parallelograms and trapezoids.  This task aligns with standard CED-A.4.
  • Sorting Functions (pdf) or see all MARS Tasks: Functions & Relations: Course 1 Algebra: Scroll down the page to select Sorting Functions: Learners match graphs of four functions with their equations, tables, and rules.  This task aligns with function standard IF-C.7 and algebra standard CED-A.2.

Mathematics Assessment Project: Standards: High School: Algebra:

Mathematics Vision Project, Secondary 1 Student Edition:

  • Getting Ready Module: This module contains 10 classroom tasks.  Task 5: Cafeteria Actions and Reactions aligns to algebra standard CED-A.1; Task 6: Elvira’s Equations and Task 7: Solving Equations, Literally align with CED-A.4.
  • Module 1: Systems of Equations and Inequalities: This module contains 10 classroom tasks.  Standards addressed include REI-C.5, REI-C.6, REI-D.12, and CED-A.2, CED-A.3, and CED-A.4.
    • Task 2: Too Big or Not Too Big, That is the Question; Task 3: Some of One, None of the Other; Task 4: Pampering and Feeding Time align with CED-A.2;
    • Task 1: Pet Sitters; Task 4: Pampering and Feeding Time; Task 5: All for One, One for All, parts 1 & 2; and Task 9: Food for Fido and Fluffy align with CED-A.3.
  • Module 4: Features of Functions: This module contains nine classroom tasks.  Task 4: Water Park; Task 5: Pooling it Together; and Task 6: Interpreting Functions align with CED-A.4.

NCTM's Reasoning and Sense Making Task Library: Over the Hill includes the task overview, teacher notes for its use in the classroom, and student activity sheet.  Aligns with function standard BF-A.1b, algebra standards CED-A.2, REI-C.6, and mathematical practice standards 1, 4, 5, and 7.


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