Simplifying expressions – Formulae and expressions PowerPoint

What's included?

Nine-lesson PowerPoint presentation

Key Stage



Years 7-9


This nine-lesson simplifying expressions PowerPoint takes students from the most basic simplifying up through substitution and proof of formulae.

The lessons focus on these questions. Can I:

  • decide whether I have a formula, an equation or an expression?
  • simplify expressions by joining ‘like terms’?
  • substitute values into a formula?
  • simplify expressions involving brackets?
  • simplify algebraic fractions by finding a common denominator?
  • simplify expressions by using the rules of indices?
  • write a formula for a given situation?
  • rearrange formulae by using inverse operations?
  • show how a formula is formed?

What’s the difference?

A formula shows you how to calculate something – it will contain an equals sign.

Eg. Area of a rectangle = length × width (A = lw)

An equation allows you to calculate the value of a letter – it contains an equals sign.

Eg. 3x + 2 = 14

An expression is just a series of letters.

Eg. 3a + 2b – 5c

Learning objectives

  • Decide whether something is an equation, expression or formula
  • Substitute numbers into given formulae
  • Multiply out brackets and simplify expressions
  • Simplify simple algebraic fractions
  • Simplify expressions using rules of indices
  • Write a formula for a given situation
  • Rearrange formulae by using inverse functions
  • Use and show how formulae are derived

KS3 maths curriculum area

Algebra: Substitute numerical values into formulae and expressions, including scientific formulae

Andy Lutwyche is a purveyor of mathematics and a producer of resources, more of which you can find on his TES shop. You can also follow him on Twitter at @andylutwyche.

Simplifying expressions PowerPoint
Simplifying expressions – Formulae and expressions PowerPoint

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