Algebra Manipulatives

In this two-day workshop for the New York City Department of Education, 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.

A grasp of the fundamental structures of algebra (operations, functions, equations) is crucial for students who want to pursue math and science in high school and beyond. Intelligent use of manipulatives can help students transition from numbers to variables, and from the concrete to the abstract. Students work cooperatively, learn to communicate about mathematics, and develop understanding. The mathematical content is the distributive law and factoring; area and perimeter; combining like terms; equivalent expressions; signed number arithmetic; equations and inequalities; simple polynomial division; completing the square and the quadratic formula; solving systems; connections with graphing. You will have a new teaching tool which facilitates communication about abstract ideas, helps improve classroom discourse, and reduces the need for memorization. 

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 Lab Gear blocks and books. 
The discount is valid until September 30. Ask me for the code when we meet in person.)

I am happy to offer a workshop for your school or district on Algebra Manipulatives, or a broader one on Visual Algebra .
 Contact me 

Subpages (2): Handouts Schedule