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This list offers good places to begin looking for individual algebra lesson plans or materials on which to base them. For more sites, see our page of algebra lesson plan collections, browse all lesson plans, or search the Library.

Selected Sites

  1. Algebra - Fun with Calendars - Cynthia Lanius
    Take any calendar. Tell a friend to choose 4 days that form a square. If your friend tells you only the sum of the four days, you can tell her what the four days are. How does the puzzle work? Includes a extension page for designing your own puzzle, teachers notes, and links to calendar pages on the Web. Mathematics topics: assigning variables, solving simple linear equations, factoring. more>>

  2. Algebraic Factoring - Suzanne Alejandre
    A Math Forum Web Unit. Vocabulary, objectives, materials. Students use algebra tiles to explore algebraic factoring. more>>

  3. Chameleon Graphing: Lines and Slope - Ursula Whitcher
    A Web unit for middle school and early high school students, in which Joan the Chameleon introduces and explores lines and slope, to accompany a unit for elementary and middle school students on The Coordinate Plane. See also Whitcher's unit on Plane History. more>>

  4. Fractals - Cynthia Lanius
    This lesson plan for exploring fractals is designed so 4th through 8th grade students can work independently and be assessed innovatively. It conforms to the 1989 NCTM standards, and provides links to other fractal sites. Contents: Why study fractals? Making fractals: Sierpinski Triangle, Sierpinski Meets Pascal, Jurassic Park Fractal, Koch Snowflake. Fractal Properties: Self-similarity, Fractional dimension, Formation by iteration. Teacher-to-Teacher notes; Fractals on the Web. more>>

  5. Games on Graphs (MegaMath) - Nancy Casey; Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Students use algebraic methods to explore, model, and describe patterns and functions involving numbers, shapes, data, and graphs in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems. Graphs, stories and games provide scenarios for games that student can play on graphs. Also Three for the Money: The Degree/Diameter Problem, an unsolved problem for students to work on, and other games that can help students increase the range of possibility for games that they can invent on graphs. Big Ideas and Key Concepts include pages on Graphs; Properties of mathematical objects; Modeling; and Abstraction. more>>

  6. Locker Problem - Suzanne Alejandre
    A classroom activity (also called 1000 Lockers) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through the use of manipulatives and a ClarisWorks spreadsheet. Students then look for patterns and write the answer algebraically. The problem: imagine you are at a school that still has student lockers. There are 1000 lockers, all shut and unlocked, and 1000 students. Suppose the first student goes along the row and opens every other locker. The second student then goes along and shuts every other locker beginning with number 2. The third student changes the state of every third locker beginning with number 3. (If the locker is open the student shuts it, and if the locker is closed the student opens it.) The fourth student changes the state of every fourth locker beginning with number 4. Imagine that this continues until the thousand students have followed the pattern with the thousand lockers. At the end, which lockers will be open and which will be closed? Why? A teacher lesson plan is provided. more>>

  7. Magnet/Mathematics Connections: Morse High School - Suzanne Alejandre, for the Math Forum
    Morse High School is the Center for Technology and Pacific Rim Studies. The school magnet focuses on five career paths designed to provide a multifaceted, enriched magnet program: Aeronautics, Engineering, Science, Tourism and Languages. These pages provide Internet lessons to use in mathematics classes in support of the magnet specialized areas, together with general resources for Internet enrichment and suggestions for developing additional lessons. more>>

  8. The Million $ Mission - Cynthia Lanius
    You have your choice of two payment options on your new job: 1. One cent on the first day, two cents on the second day, and double your salary every day thereafter for the thirty days; or 2. Exactly $1,000,000. (That's one million dollars!) What's the best choice? Includes pages on exponential growth and patterns, links to exponentials on the Web, questions, and teachers notes. more>>

  9. PlaneMath - InfoUse, in cooperation with NASA
    Materials for elementary school students about math and aeronautics, designed to stimulate and motivate students with physical disabilities in grades 4-7 to pursue aeronautics-related careers via the development and delivery of accessible math education materials on the Internet. Recognizing that math curricula for students in these grades is most often built around the manipulation of tools such as pencils, compasses, and rulers, the designers of this site have endeavored to teach the same concepts without relying on the physical acuity of the student. Activities involve finding the shortest path between two cities or how many people can board your plane, flying a herd of buffalo to the prairies, learning to fly a rescue helicopter and how planes lift, knowing when an overcast sky is really overcast, flying a kite, and planning a flight around the country. Teachers are invited to register their classes. more>>

  10. Rectangle Pattern Challenges - Cynthia Lanius
    Examine different stges of rectangle patterns, and describe what you must do to get from one to the next. Observe the designs looking for patterns. Use the symmetry of the design to help you count. Organize your information into a table. On square grid paper create your own design, showing at least 3 stages. It must have at least two lines of symmetry, and it must follow a regular numerical growth pattern. On a separate sheet of paper, fill in the calculations in a table like the one shown. Teachers notes are included. more>>

  11. River Crossing (Math Exploration Quilt) - Rik Littlefield; Hanford School
    You want to cross a river to reach a point exactly opposite where you are currently standing. Explore this problem step-by-step, encountering the following basic ideas: 1) Pythagorean theorem; 2) time = distance / speed; 3) distance = time * speed; 4) sums and differences of distances; and 5) the arcsine function for right triangles (which we didn't really need to solve the problem, just to get the angle expressed in a familiar way). more>>

  12. Traffic Jam Activity - Suzanne Alejandre
    A classroom activity (also called Hop, Skip, Jump) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through large movement experience, manipulatives, and an interactive Java applet. Students then revisit the activity, look for patterns, and write the answer algebraically. The activity: there are seven stepping stones and six people. On the three lefthand stones, facing the center, stand three of the people. The other three people stand on the three righthand stones, also facing the center. The center stone is not occupied. Everyone must move so that the people originally standing on the righthand stepping stones are on the lefthand stones, and those originally standing on the lefthand stepping stones are on the righthand stones, with the center stone again unoccupied. A teacher lesson plan is provided. more>>


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