In Algebra 1, we just finished a unit on rational numbers. The first four lessons were adding rational numbers (basically adding integers from pre-algebra, except fractions were thrown in), subtracting rational numbers, multiplying rational numbers, and dividing rational numbers. Yeah, it was as boring as it sounds. The kids needed the review, but man, it was rough for me. I am totally not cut out for teaching that stuff (and I kind of sucked at it).

Anyway, at the end of the unit, we learned the distributive property. I created this foldable pulling ideas from several different places. It’s nothing fancy, but I like the way it turned out.

My students thought the baby example was stupid. I like it so they can just deal with it. I’m still going to use it next year 🙂

Color-coding the combining like terms example helped so much. I liked color-coding before, but I’m LOVING it with my algebra kids. It helps them so much. I always try to remember to use the little arrows when showing the distributive property. My students have started calling it “the rainbow”.

On the next page, I had the kids put this page from Mrs. Hester as practice of combining like terms and the distributive property. I didn’t make any changes from the page she shared. I loved the way it turned out. My kids nicknamed the combo meals things like “The Hungry Man” and “Hope That’s Not All for You”. Also, I thought the last question was pretty tricky, but my kids didn’t struggle with it at all. I guess when there’s food involved, kids are more motivated!

The day after this lesson, I used the Simplifying Expressions Pyramid Sum Puzzle from All Things Algebra. It was a struggle for my kids, but it was a good struggle. They had to get every problem correct for the pyramid to work out. They couldn’t just skip a problem because it was hard. They also made my room pretty. I’m still working on covering up as much of the paneling as I can!

The day after this lesson, I used the Simplifying Expressions Pyramid Sum Puzzle from All Things Algebra. It was a struggle for my kids, but it was a good struggle. They had to get every problem correct for the pyramid to work out. They couldn’t just skip a problem because it was hard. They also made my room pretty. I’m still working on covering up as much of the paneling as I can!

I plan to use these inb pages again next year and won’t make any changes to them!