Date October
Class pre algebra

Anna Thompson


Tiles for integers
In my class we used manipulatives, to help learn how to add subtract multiply and divide integers.  We used two different colored tiles, one for the positive and one for the negative.  We also used the mats from the algeblocks for adding and subtracting.  The students got to see how positive and negative numbers cancel each other out. 
I had trouble with the multiplication part, but I am sure it was because I wasn’t well enough prepared with the manipulatives myself.  So to fix it, a friend of mine gave me an idea where I videotape the class walking forward and backward holding positive and negative signs, respectively,  and we played it on a tv in fast forward and rewind.  They got to see the concepts of multiplying integers.  I will use the tiles again for multiplying after I have a better lesson plan in place/

Date Sept. 26, 2005
Class Algebra 1
Teacher Patti Bailey

Blocks and tiles for integers.
With both my algebra and 8th grade math students I used algeblocks to show combining like terms.  It provided a great visual for them.  It was a great way to show X  as opposed to x .  It was also a great way to show the distributive property.  Some of the students even came down during their study hall because they preferred seeing it! 

The visual students really liked this.  It helped them immensely.  The algebra students that remembered it from last year didn’t want to go back to the visual part.  It actually confused some of them, especially neutralizing with the subtraction.

I resort to them quite often when I see a bit of confusion in the students’ eyes.  They work nicely with positives and negatives.  Today with multiplication of negatives the students got a little confused.  They wanted to know ‘why’ the positives and negatives were arranged the way they were on the grid.
Date September 30, 2005
Teacher Tami Heiser

Chips for integers.
Objective:  Be able to add postive and negative integers.
Materials needed:  2 different colored chips. (I used the chips that are red on one side and yellow on the other side)

Activity:  Let one color of chips represent negative numbers and let the other color represent positive numbers.  For each problem the students will display the appropriate number of colored chips for each number. 
            Ex.    7 + -9      Have 7 yellow chips and 9 red chips
Then have students remove the chips in pairs, one of each color together.
The students will then count what they have left, and the color will tell them if the answer is positive  or negative.

Comments:  My students of all ages have trouble adding positive and negative numbers.  After we did this activity, they were able to picture in their minds the chips, pulling them off in pairs, and then deciding what would be left.  I have used number lines in the past, and this worked better.  I did then the next day show them how to represent it on a number line.
Date September
Teacher Cassandra Joseph
Notes My pre-algebra classes were learning to add like terms yesterday.  I usually introduce this with M & M's, but forgot to get them, so I thought I would try the Algebra tiles.  I used the different color tiles to represent different variables laid out the terms and then had the students write the expression and simplify it.  They seemed to grasp the concept of "Like terms" better than with the M & M's.  Some of my students, who have been struggling, were answering questions right and left...apparently they like the visual!!
Date September 30
Teacher Lanette VonSeggern

            I used the two colored tiles in my Algebra 1 class.  The students were showing the addition and subtraction of integers with the tiles.  I did not discuss the rules first but some of the students wanted to state the rules instead of showing the addition/subtraction.  This process reinforced the subtraction rule of changing to add the opposite.  The students also remembered being introduced to subtraction as “take away.”  This activity was great for the visual learner – which I think I tend to overlook in my classroom because I am not visual.
Next time I use this tool I would like to have a worksheet for the students to draw their tiles on.  Some of the students were typical 8th and 9th grade students – they were creating houses and other designs when there was extra time.  I only handed out the small tiles but the students had a great amount of creativity.