Traditionally, I have always taught evaluating expressions before teaching linear equations. But, I was recently given a remedial class of students that have to cover the bare minimums (and we have until mid-December to finish). Luckily, I have great flexibility with what I can do to the syllabus, so for the first time ever, I have completely cut out evaluating expressions since they won´t even be tested on this on the final exam.
My question is more if anyone else has done this, or thinks this is not a good way to go. Most of my students in that particular class have ZERO to little formal math background, a lot of them did not even finish high school, and they barely get by with mean, median, mode, rounding, etc. I started equations with them today, and they seemed ¨fine" for the most part. Of course, I also have spent the past week emphasizing positive and negative integer operations, so they are pretty OK with that so far. The textbook itself does not cover linear equations until after the section on evaluating expressions.
EDIT: Upon request for "non-native" English speakers:
Evaluating expressions simply means in the US to plug in numbers for the given variable values of the algebraic expression. Thus, for example, an exercise would be:
"Evaluate a + b + c" if a = 1, b = 2, c = 3."
The expressions can be as simple as that, or very much more complicated/interesting/beautiful. But, you get the picture.
Linear equations simply mean basic equations where you solve for an unknown variable.
Example: x + 5 = 10. What is x? Or 2x + 20 = 40, what is x? Etc.