Getting in a Workout with Combining Like Terms

My Smarties have been working hard lately in Math.  We have A LOT... A LOT of work to do.
One of the big ticket items for us is the Distributive Property.  Using this, we have to learn how to combine like terms and be very proficient with simplifing expressions using the Greatest Common Factor.
There are several items that I begin with in the fall.  One of which is Prime Numbers and Greatest Common Factor.  The easiest thing that I've found is using the Prime Ladder Method.  I want my students to be familiar with the Hundreds Board, so I complete a lesson where we discover the prime numbers through 100 by color coding the board.  Once we are comfortable with the prime numbers, we learn GCF with the ladder.  These lessons along with a foldable can be found {HERE} if you are interested.
Once my Smarties are familiar with GCF, we turn to Distributive Property and combining like terms.
This can be so difficult for them to grasp and go back and forth.  I wanted extra practice for my students in a center like activity, so I created 'Smore Practice with Combining Like Terms.

They loved this!  On top of it making them crave 'Smores,  [Sidebar: this made me laugh because smores is a summer thing for me in the North East but not in Mobile... it's winter time when a campfire is needed hello!  teacher needs to adapt to her surroundings!]
The activity forced my students to take the terms step by step.
We find the original term, then combine the variable terms.  We find the chocolate piece with this answer.  Next, students combine the constant values.  Finally as added practice I provided a value for the variable and my students solved the expression.
I included a student recording sheet with the activity.  I had my students place them in sheet protectors, then they could use the back of the sheet to work through the combinations.  It gave them more space to work and it allowed them the ability to place each piece next to the work to show me the steps and EXPLAIN them.  Hello!  Formative assessment! BOOYA!

Also, my entire TpT store is on sale through Halloween, so you can grab this item for a steal if you're interested!

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