# ideas for algebra fun for a 3rd grader?

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I have been gently introducing algebra to my mathy 8 yo, and would love ideas for fun algebra texts/downloads/books/games that I can do with him. He's not far into it, by any means (I am just pulling things out of my head right now, and he's playing along) but I think it would be fun to go on a "math bunny trail" (is that allowed?? LOL) for a bit...

Just to give you an idea of what we played with today, he solved

4a - 6= 10

and

(6+4)(9-6)___=6

A

I don't want to "teach him incorrectly" and it's been a long time since I did any real algebra. Thank you for ideas.

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Oh golly-I've seen that, and I want it too :) But it's too pricey for us right now. I'd love something playful and manipulative though-we're overdoing the worksheets right now, and he needs a break!

Edited by Halcyon
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I know the feeling, it is on my wishlist though:)

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Hands-on-Equations is excellent.

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Oh golly-I've seen that, and I want it too :) But it's too pricey for us right now.

The basic lessons-with-manipulatives set (\$35 on RR) should be enough, imo. There are plenty of videos on youtube and some PDF documents on the Borenson web site to guide you.

If you want to just play before starting anything formal, you can use a laminated balance, chess pawns and C-rods to model the equations from your Singapore Math 3A/3B word problems.

Here is one lesson plan with some starter equations. Here is another one. Here is a third one that uses candy instead of pawns.

HTH

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Marilyn Burns has some wonderful books with planned-out lessons in a series Algebraic Thinking; the books are divided by general grade levels (K-2, 3-5, etc.). They are truly excellent, with hands-on activities to accompany most of the lessons, no conventional worksheets, emphasis on understanding and looking in depth at a concept from a number of different perspectives/with different tools. http://www.mathsolutions.com

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Thank you Nan and KarenAnne!! Will check out both these resources. So fun :)

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Hands-On Equations is wonderful.

Here is the website: http://www.borenson.com/

Julie from Living Math highly recommends it. The child is learning with chess pieces how to solve algebra. It is made for as young as 3rd or 4th grade.

I like that they have the balancing scale picture to teach the child that everything on each side has to balance.

I have used it with my older son and am now using it with my younger son.

Blessings,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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I have been gently introducing algebra to my mathy 8 yo, and would love ideas for fun algebra texts/downloads/books/games that I can do with him. He's not far into it, by any means (I am just pulling things out of my head right now, and he's playing along) but I think it would be fun to go on a "math bunny trail" (is that allowed?? LOL) for a bit...

Just to give you an idea of what we played with today, he solved

4a - 6= 10

and

(6+4)(9-6)___=6

A

I don't want to "teach him incorrectly" and it's been a long time since I did any real algebra. Thank you for ideas.

As a quick review for you and ideas for what to teach, you could get the Algebra Survival Guide. There is a workbook available if you needed extra practice problems. It might not be fun like you're looking for (no games or manipulatives), but it's a great reference.

They also have PreAlgebra Blastoff, which is great for teaching positive & negative numbers.

Every Saturday possible, my dh does Saturday School with my older 3 boys. He teaches them concepts from College Algebra-Calculus 1. He just uses the textbooks we have on the shelf and the whiteboard. My boys think this is so much fun! My oldest will start Algebra 1 next year and cannot wait.

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• 4 months later...

I need these! thanks!

As a quick review for you and ideas for what to teach, you could get the Algebra Survival Guide. There is a workbook available if you needed extra practice problems. It might not be fun like you're looking for (no games or manipulatives), but it's a great reference.

They also have PreAlgebra Blastoff, which is great for teaching positive & negative numbers.

Every Saturday possible, my dh does Saturday School with my older 3 boys. He teaches them concepts from College Algebra-Calculus 1. He just uses the textbooks we have on the shelf and the whiteboard. My boys think this is so much fun! My oldest will start Algebra 1 next year and cannot wait.

:bigear:

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Here is an even older thread from the accelerated board that discusses algebra with young students.

Also do a title search on both the Accelerated board and the Logic Stage & Middle Grade Challenges board for algebra and you will pull up a number of threads.

My little guy just finished his first week using Foerster's Alg1 alongside the Math without Borders lectures. It was the sample lectures from Math without Borders and posts here that sold me on Foerster, but as we are only one week into the book I am hesitant to offer a rave review.;)

Mandy

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