In this two-day workshop, I will present a hands-on approach to many algebra topics in grades 8-9: signed numbers, equivalent expressions, like terms, the distributive law, factoring, division, fractions, equations, completing the square, quadratics. Given technology, speed and accuracy in algebraic manipulation no longer constitute legitimate priorities. However a grasp of the fundamental structures of algebra (the meaning of variables, operations, functions, equations) remains crucial. Intelligent use of manipulatives can help. The Lab Gear provides a hands-on approach where the inner logic of the model replaces the memorization of seemingly arbitrary rules. This powerful learning tool facilitates communication about abstract ideas and helps improve the discourse in the algebra class. (The most important activities can also be done with other algebra manipulatives.) Participants will learn techniques that will allow them to serve the whole range of students better by offering: - greater access, because of addressing multiple intelligences
- greater challenge, because of expecting multi-dimensional understanding
- greater variety, because of using manipulative tools
The workshop will be aligned with the Common Core / New York State Standards, both in content and in mathematical practices. There is much more information on the Lab Gear on my Web site. (Participants in this workshop get a 20% discount on the blocks and the books. |

### Algebra Manipulatives

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