9 Apps To Understand How Algebra Tiles Works

Algebra tiles have long been used to teach algebra. Algebra tiles are basically physical manipulatives that teachers use to explain abstract algebraic concepts to their students. Once the students learn how to use them, they can apply this knowledge to model and solve algebra problems. 

Digitization in today’s world has changed the way we do things. It has also changed the way we teach and learn something new. Now we can find several educational apps and virtual tools to support learning, and algebra tiles apps are among them. 

Parents and teachers can download these apps and provide an interesting online learning tool to the current generation of digitally-savvy students. A phone or an iPad and a reliable internet connection are all you need to take advantage of this pedagogical method. 

If you have already started thinking about apps that meet this purpose, keep reading, as we have enlisted them and their details to help you know your options.  

Algebra tiles apps for practicing algebraic concepts

1. Algebra Tiles by Mathies (Free)

Algebra Tiles by Mathies (Free)

OAME brings you an app that students can use in place of physical algebra tiles. The app has a simplistic design, a large workspace in the center, and a left panel containing the tiles. The tiles can be dragged to the center to work on a problem. There is even an option for selecting the set of tiles you want to work with, as there are a couple of color options to choose from. 

The app includes tiles denoting x2, y2, x, y, xy, and 1. It also gives the option of adjusting the value of the x and y tiles. Algebraic operations like working with integers, simplifying polynomials, factoring, etc., can be done within the app.  

App link: Playstore | Appstore

2. Maths Hunter Algebra Tiles (Free)

Maths Hunter Algebra Tiles (Free)

Algebra tiles by Maths Hunter is a very basic app with no frills attached. The app is designed by a math teacher for helping students learn algebra. You can choose the portrait mode or the landscape mode before you begin using the tiles. The app includes three types of tiles x2, x, and 1. The x tile is available as horizontal and vertical tile, which you can use as per your requirement.

There is a small green button on the right-hand corner of the workspace that you can use to switch the positive tiles into negative ones. To do this, you can drag the tile over the green button, and see the positive blue tile turn into a negative green tile. The app is still in its testing phase but can be used if you’re looking for a basic option. 

App link: Playstore

3. Mathigon (Free)

Mathigon (Free)

Mathigon is an award-winning interactive learning platform used by teachers and students worldwide. The app can be used on a phone or tablet and can also be used offline. It has a polypad where you can find different types of virtual manipulatives, including algebra tiles. It has tiles representing x2, y2, x, y, xy, and 1. There is a separate set of pink negative tiles for negative operations in a problem. 

The panel at the bottom has options like a pencil and ruler, which can be used when needed. You can even zoom in and zoom out of the workspace if required. To add a fun element, the app even allows students to alter the workspace background with different designs. Apart from algebra tiles, the app also has other activities and courses for students. 

App link: Playstore | Appstore | Webapp

4. Algebra Tiles by Brainingcamp (Paid)

 Algebra Tiles by Brainingcamp (Paid)

Brainingcamp’s algebra tiles is an easy-to-use virtual manipulative app. It has a large workspace to solve inequalities and equations. The left-hand panel contains a selection of positive and negative algebra tiles. Students can drag them onto the workspace depending on the algebra problem and use tools to perform operations like rotate, invert, or create a zero pair.

The app is suitable for practicing different algebraic concepts like integer operations, simplifying equations, factoring, and operations with polynomials. It also provides a distinctly designed workspace for different operations and text tools in case students need to use them. This app is only available on the App Store and can be downloaded on an iPad. Since it is a paid app, it is priced at $1.99.  

App link: Appstore

5. Algebra Tiles Playground (Paid)

Algebra Tiles Playground (Paid)

Algebra Tiles Playground by Venture Educational Systems is an app that has a different look than other traditional algebra tiles apps. It is designed like a board game with tiles on one side and tools on the other. The black tiles represent positive x2, x, and unit tiles, whereas the red tiles represent negative x2, x, and unit tiles. 

Students can use this app to model algebraic expressions and solve problems involving binomials and trinomials. There are icons to turn off or on speech and sound in the app. A question mark icon presents a specific challenge to a student depending on the level of expertise of the student. The app is exclusively available on iPad and costs $ 1.99. 

App link: Appstore

Virtual algebra tiles for practicing algebra online

1. Algebra Tiles by Oryx Learning

 Algebra Tiles by Oryx Learning

This virtual manipulative is simple and easy to use and comes with a tutorial on how to use it. It offers a variable workspace layout for solving, substituting, and expanding algebraic problems. A blank workspace is also available if that’s what you need. The tiles are located on the left-hand side, and on the right side, you have tools like a notepad, sketchpad, and calculator as well. 

Official Site

2. CPM Tiles 

CPM Tiles

CPM Tiles is an online manipulative with base ten blocks, number lines, area and perimeter, along with algebra tiles. A student can begin by setting the background depending on the problem to be solved. There is a checkered grid, a dot grid, an equation mat, and a comparison mat for solving problems. The manipulative has all basic algebra tiles, which can be enlarged or reduced in size. 

Official Site

3. Algebra Tiles by Didax

Algebra Tiles by Didax

Like other virtual manipulatives, algebra tiles by Didax is also a simple yet functional tool. The tiles are colored in traditional blue, green, yellow, and red colors but the tiles are not marked. Hence, students using this manipulative must know what different tiles represent. One can select a corner frame, an equation mat, or a plain background to work on those algebraic problems. 

Official site

4. Hooda Math Algebra Tiles

Hooda Math Algebra Tiles

Unlike other manipulatives, where you must drag and drop the tiles on the workspace, this one’s a bit different. Here you must click on the buttons at the bottom to make tiles appear on the workspace. There is a slider to increase and decrease tile size and a clear button to delete the items on the workspace. Use this classic algebra tiles manipulative to make learning fun.

Official site

In Conclusion

Learning abstract mathematical concepts can be tricky for students. Therefore, teachers and parents must find ways to simplify concepts and promote clarity and understanding. As students these days are comfortable with virtual tools, algebra tiles apps and virtual manipulatives can make learning a pleasant experience. One can also try DIY algebra tiles for creating a complete hands-on learning opportunity.

Pedagogical tools like algebra tiles are fun and dynamic. Students love them as they can create a visual representation of their problems and work with them to find solutions. So, give these virtual tools a try and engage students in an enriching learning environment.

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