Tools of Algebra: Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities, Part 1

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Tools of Algebra: Expressions, Equations, and Inequalities (Part 1) is available at the link above. Part 2 is available here.

Note: If you are teaching remote online classes during Covid-19 and using the packets with your students, we recommend breaking the packets up into assignments. We created a step by step guide for folks who are not sure how to break a PDF file into smaller chunks: Breaking Up is (not) Hard to Do. 

This packet provides an introduction to algebra through expressions with numbers, expressions with variables, and the important principle of balance in an equation. Students will first solve for variables using squares and objects as symbols and will eventually use letters as variables. In the process, they will learn how to use the order of operations and the distributive property of multiplication to create and evaluate expressions. In Part 2, students will learn to solve more complicated algebraic equations and will be introduced to systems of equations and inequalities.

If you use these materials with your students, please give us feedback on the experience (teacher survey, student survey). Your feedback on the packets will help us improve the materials, and support our students’ success.

The downloadable PDF version here includes corrections to previous versions. We recommend checking this page regularly to see if there have been any version updates.

The Fast Track GRASP Math Packets are made available for teachers who work with students in distance learning, Fast Track Math classes, and traditional ABE/HSE classes. The packets provided practice in high-priority topic areas on the TASC by developing underlying concepts as an introduction to each topic. Students then are given practice applying what they have learned in context. Students work through TASC-style questions followed by guidance on test-taking skills and explanation of answer choice design. Finally, an optional section on the language of the math topic is provided. We hope that this section is helpful for all students, but especially useful for lower-level students and English Language Learners. (Click here for more information about other Math Packets.)

Eric Appleton & Mark Trushkowsky (CUNY Adult Literacy/High School Equivalency Program)

If you have any questions about the administration of a Fast Track Program or a GRASP Distance Learning Program, please contact Rosemary Matt, NYS Director of Accountability at

Note: The Fast Track GRASP Math packets use a Creative Commons license of Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0), which means that they can be shared, copied and redistributed in any form, as long as the document retains attribution to NYSED and CUNY for their creation.

The Fast Track GRASP Math Packets were made possible through support from the New York State Education Department, Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services.

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