I love Algebra. It's true, I do! I don't even mind long, tedious calculations. I love the challenge of correctly "undoing" an equation to find the solution. I love knowing I can check my answer. I love the feeling of satisfaction when I correctly solve it. This is why I spent most of my time in the classroom as an Algebra teacher. In the beginning, however, students often get hung up on some of those early foundations, making the rest of their math career a challenge. So today I want to share a list of FREE Pre-algebra lessons and resources that will hopefully help your kids make sense of Keep Reading...

## Adding and Subtracting Integers {FREE Lesson!}

One of the most important concepts introduced in pre-algebra (or algebra) is integer operations. I can distinctly remember learning "the rules" and fun little tricks to remember them. But I also remember wondering why in the world subtracting a negative means you add! So when I saw this method to introduce adding and subtracting integers, I knew I had to try it. *Please Note: This post contains affiliate links which help support the work of this site. Read our full disclosure here.* Understanding integers and especially how to correctly add, subtract, multiply and divide them is a skill Keep Reading...

## Understanding the Angles in Triangles

I love letting kids investigate and explore and see math ideas and patterns for themselves. As an Algebra teacher, this was not always easy to do, but Geometry, on the other hand, really lends itself to being explored. Geometry is the math of lines and points and shapes: solid and three dimensional. So why in the world teach it by having kids right down a set of theorems to memorize? Today I want to share a fun and super simple example involving the angles in triangles. As I've shared before, it can be so fun exploring triangle properties! This lesson helps students understand interior and Keep Reading...

## Investigating Exponent Properties {FREE Lesson!}

Many of the topics covered in Pre-Algebra or Algebra are taught as "rules," "properties," or "formulas" to be memorized. And while it is definitely helpful to have certain properties or formulas memorized, I think it is much more important that these Algebra facts be taught in a way that is logical and makes sense, rather than simply telling students "This is true. Now use it correctly." If you let students explore and discover math truths on their own (with guidance), they will be more meaningful and it will be much more likely that students will remember them. Today I'm sharing a free Keep Reading...

## Pass the Pi: A Hands On Pi Day Investigation

No matter the age of your kids, Pi Day (aka March 14th) is a fantastic opportunity to explore math concepts! There are so many things to teach and explore related to the number pi, the circumference or diameter of a circle, or some math history related to this fascinating number. I'm always on the lookout for fun Pi Day learning activities, and have already shared this simple Pi Day Sing Along to get kids of all ages in on the fun. Today I'm sharing a hands on Pi Day investigation to help older kids understand the number pi. *Please Note: This post contains affiliate links which help Keep Reading...

## Spring Themed Logic Puzzles {FREE!}

We've had a few days with beautiful weather recently (although at the moment the ground is covered with snow...) and it has made me completely ready for Spring! As I've been thinking about what kinds of resources to create and share in the coming months, I realized that I have not made any logic puzzles recently. These Spring themed logic puzzles are great for upper elementary kids on up, and provide a fun challenge as they begin to use algebraic thinking and logic. *Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and support the work of this site. Read our full disclosure Keep Reading...

## Valentine’s Day Algebra Practice Pack! {FREE!}

Having taught many different levels of Algebra over the years, I always have so many ideas that I want to share with you, but not always enough time to get it created and posted! So slowly but surely I'm starting to get things together and today I'm excited to share what I hope is a fun and helpful resource for Valentine's Day! This Valentine's Day Algebra practice pack covers many different skills for students to practice and review. As I began to create this, it started as simply a review of the order of operations. But then I thought it would be fun to include some silly Valentine Keep Reading...

## Pythagorean Theorem Lego Proof

Are you familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem? Even if you know the equation, do you know what it means? What all the letters stand for? Why it even matters? Understanding and then using and applying the Pythagorean theorem is important for students because it is so foundational. It can be applied to all kinds of right triangle problems in trigonometry and geometry and is incredibly useful in the real world to determine measurements and right angles. One problem that I encountered as a high school teacher was that often students would forget what the formula was or (more frequently) what the Keep Reading...

## Exploring Surface Area of Pyramids and Cones!

As promised, I have another surface area lesson to share today! This builds on students' previous knowledge from the prisms and cylinders lesson to get them thinking about other three dimensional shapes: pyramids and cones. This FREE surface area of pyramids and cones investigation is a sure way to get kids thinking and better understanding area. It is also a fun, hands-on way to help them form a conceptual understanding, rather than trying to memorize formulas. This lesson is intended to be used together with the prisms and cylinders lesson, but helps students take their learning a bit Keep Reading...

## Exploring Surface Area: Hands-On Lesson!

One topic that I believe is too often rushed through, whether in pre-algebra or geometry, is the surface area of three dimensional objects. Because it is often seen as an "easy" topic where students are expected to simply "plug the numbers into the formula," it can be easy to say, "Here's the formula, GO." And while this may work for some students, especially students who have a strong foundation in geometry vocabulary and a strong understanding of area in general, simply "plugging numbers into the formula" doesn't come as easily to others. This hands-on investigation for exploring surface Keep Reading...