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Course Description

Algebra and the introduction of variables can be a challenging concept for many students. Using concrete materials can help students to get a ‘feel’ for what we are doing when we ask them to - collect like terms; manipulate an algebraic expression and to solve equations.

Concrete materials (or manipulatives) can be found in classrooms in the lower primary years but often disappear as students get older, giving students the impression that they are ‘babyish’ and that it is more ‘grown-up’ to manage without them. Algebra Tiles are a simple manipulative that can help develop students’ understanding and confidence with algebra, at many different levels.

In this course we will work through a sequence of lessons from adding and subtracting integers to completing the square. There will be short video demonstrations and explanations throughout.


Algebra Tiles


This course is for all teachers of Mathematics with a particular emphasis on those teaching Years 5–10.

Teaching Standards

3.3.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and Implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Use teaching strategies: Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking.

$  255 + GST - Individual Enrolment
$1250 + GST - Team Enrolment

FREE with  Online Subscription

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Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1 - Introduction

    • Introduction

    • Welcome and Meet the Presenter

    • Course Outline

  • 2

    Module 2 - What are Algebra Tiles?

    • What are Algebra Tiles?

    • What do Algebra Tiles look like?

    • Making or Buying Algebra Tiles

    • Reflection Task - Introducing Algebra Tiles

  • 3

    Module 3 - The Concrete, Representational, Abstract Model

    • The CRA Model

    • Introducing Algebra Tiles using the CRA model

    • AT and CRA demo

  • 4

    Module 4 - Building Algebraic Expressions

    • Integer Operations

    • The Area Model

    • Building Algebraic Expressions

    • Building Algebraic Expressions - Points to Note

    • Substitution

    • Reflection Task - Using Algebra Tiles in class

    • Australian Curriculum Links

  • 5

    Module 5 - Solving Linear Equations

    • Numberless Word Problems

    • Solving Linear Equations

    • Reflection Task - Numberless word problems and using Algebra Tiles

    • Australian Curriculum Links

  • 6

    Module 6 - Multiplying and Factorising

    • Quadratic Expressions

    • The Area Model

    • Multiplying Two Linear Expressions

    • Factorising a Linear Expression

    • Factorising a Quadratic Expression

    • Reflection Task - Concrete or abstract?

    • Australian Curriculum Links

  • 7

    Module 7 - Other Advanced Topics

    • Exploring more Advanced Algebraic Concepts

    • Dividing A Quadratic Expression by a Linear Factor

    • Perfect Squares

    • Reflection Task - Advanced topics

    • Australian Curriculum Links

  • 8

    Module 8 - Conclusion

    • Takeaways

    • Reflection Task - Conclusion

    • References

  • 9

    Course Feedback

    • Course Feedback

Do you teach in NSW? If so, this is relevant to you:

Completing Algebra Tiles - From Concrete to Abstract will contribute 4.5 hours of NSW Education Standards Education Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Delivery and Assessment of NSW Curriculum/Early Years Learning Framework, addressing standard descriptor 3.3.2 from the Australia Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.



Vicky Kennard

Vicky Kennard

I am an experienced mathematics consultant and curriculum writer, having worked in mathematics education for over 25 years. I have worked from F - 12 in Australia and the UK. I am skilled in curriculum development, lesson/unit planning, teacher professional development, presenting and public speaking. I have worked across Australia in all school sectors and worked with them to improve student outcomes and motivate and enthuse teachers to enjoy delivering their maths lessons. I am passionate about mathematics and aim to inspire teachers and students to love it too.

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