Many students need the support of concrete materials before they can move into more abstract representations. But how do you do this with algebra in the middle years? Algebra tiles use an area model to bridge from the concrete to the abstract by showing students various processes in a visual manner that can then be translated into symbolic language.
Working with the tiles to build an understanding of integer arithmetic leads to the concept of algebraic simplification, including the collection of like terms. Solve linear equations. Use the tiles to show the distributive law when expanding, and in reverse to factorise. They even work with negative coefficients and quadratics!
The tiles are made of durable foam, with different coloured sides. The accompanying book clearly explains their uses and provides a number of suitable examples. Discover another way for your students to construct algebraic understanding.