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Main Curriculum Tie:
Algebra Tiles for the Overhead Projector, by Hilde Howden; ISBN 0-914040-42-1
Background For Teachers:
Students must also understand exponents. The expression x^2 means x squared, or x times x.
Algebra tiles provide a useful way to introduce algebra operations
to students of all ages. Students use the tiles as numbers to replace the
variables, which provides a visual image of the equations. This will
make the transition to paper and pencil much easier to understand.
Using the manipulatives will also aid in retention of the concepts.
Write the following question on the board: If tickets to a high school football game cost $4 per person, explain in words, numbers, or pictures how you can calculate how much money it will cost your family to go to the game?
Give students a few minutes to work alone, and then pair them up to share their strategies. Discuss as a class. (Students should realize that the number of people per family would cause the cost of the tickets to vary.
Day 1: Introduction to Algebra Tiles
Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Leitze, A.R., & Kitt, N. A. (2000 September). Using homemade algebra tiles to develop algebra and prealgebra concepts. Mathematics Teacher, 93, 462-466, 520.
Algebra for all is possible by using algebra tiles as concrete models in the classroom. This article describes how to use homemade tiles to reach a broader group of students for successful algebra thinking. Provides concepts appropriate for this approach.
Leinenbach, M., & Raymond, A.M. (1996). A two-year collaborative action research study on the effects of a “hands-on” approach to learning algebra. ERIC Source (ERIC ED398081). Retrieved November 30, 2006, from http://www.eric.ed.gov
A “hands-on” approach to algebra enhances students’ confidence, interest in, and ability to solve and retain understanding of algebraic equations. This article describes a two-year research project focused on two phases and data collection.
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