Before I began homeschooling my children, I was a classroom teacher. I taught in a variety of contexts and grade levels, but I always taught Algebra. Sometimes it was remedial Algebra sometimes College Algebra, and everything in between. And I loved it! But it seemed no matter what level of Algebra I was teaching, there were certain concepts that challenged kids. And these concepts were ones that I had to review or reteach, even when I was teaching high school seniors. Today I want to share a collection of lessons, guided notes and practice that cover all those tricky concepts. My goal with Keep Reading...

## Equivalent Expressions Activity {FREE}

Understanding how to work with expressions involving variables can be such a huge leap for kids. On more than one occasion, I've had students tell me, "I was great at math until it started to involve letters. What's up with that??" What I constantly tried to convey to my students was that a variable is still just a number. When you're feeling stuck, replace it with a number to try and figure out what's going on. So if your students are feeling frustrated or need extra practice simplifying and evaluating expressions, you will love this simple equivalent expressions activity. *Please Note: 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...

## Online High School Math Curriculum Review

I am often asked my opinion about various math curricula, and I love to try out different options to help parents make informed decisions about their child's education. One thing that can be especially difficult is finding the right option for upper level math, particularly if you don't feel equipped to handle higher levels of mathematics. I recently had the opportunity to try out an online high school math curriculum called Mr. D Math. If you have a middle or high school student, you definitely want to check it out! *Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. In addition, please 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...

## 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 Patterns in Pascal’s Triangle {FREE Printables!}

When I taught Algebra, there were lots of ways I loved to explore patterns with kids and help them make the connection between a number pattern, a table, a graph and an equation. One way we did that was by looking at fractals. Another really fun way to explore, play with numbers and see patterns is in Pascal's Triangle. The pattern known as Pascal's Triangle is constructed by starting with the number one at the "top" or the triangle, and then building rows below. The second row consists of a one and a one. Then, each subsequent row is formed by starting with one, and then adding the two Keep Reading...

## Brilliant Ways to Use a Hundreds Chart

In my shopping for homeschool curriculum this year, I was able to find all sorts of wonderful math manipulatives at really amazing prices (thank you, consignment sales). *Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Feel free to read our full disclosure policy here.* One small thing I picked up is a hundreds chart. It doesn't look like much (mine especially, it's rather well used), but it's an incredibly useful tool for learning and practicing all sorts of math! If you would like a nice, beautiful poster to hang, you can grab one here, but you can also download and Keep Reading...

## Understanding the Distributive Property {FREE Lesson!}

I distinctly remember the week in 7th grade pre-algebra that was spent learning and (supposedly) understanding the distributive property. I remember this week so vividly because, for some reason, it made NO sense to me. None. At. All. Eventually I understood what it meant, and how to use it and apply it in the wonderful world of Algebra and solving equations and working with expressions. But I never forgot how confusing and nonsensical it seemed that first week. I don't know if my teacher just could not explain it well or if I was having an "off" week or what the issue was, but once I Keep Reading...