a list of top 10 manipulatives for algebra

Top 10 manipulatives for excelling algebra

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Last Updated on September 8, 2020 by Editorial Team

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Manipulatives come as an easy rescue when you want to introduce Algebra to kids. Algebra involves formulae, calculations, expressions and all these can become too overwhelming when the child needs help in handling the basic math. So, manipulatives help connect with these overwhelming algebraic features in a far easy and relatable manner helping child develop a liking for it.

With the help of manipulatives, you are making identifying, adding, subtracting, and other basic operations easier to grasp for your child. Let’s find more about manipulatives for Algebra.

Why manipulatives for Algebra teaching?

Manipulatives, by the way of providing easy relatability with concepts, enhance the learning capabilities of the minds of the children. A formula written on a paper can be scary, but the one modeled into tangible objects induce engagement, connectivity and thus, easy retrieval for application.

We’ve curated a list of top 10 manipulatives for Algebra that have helped parents or teachers all across the globe in simplifying things for children facing difficulty in learning mathematics.

1. Hand2mind Plastic Algebra Manipulatives Classroom Kit

algebra manipulatives plastic algebra tiles

Learning algebraic expressions made more fun with the help of Algebra tiles. Help students with this kit to make Algebra super absorbing for the kid. The concepts of adding and subtracting polynomials, factor polynomials, etc. can be easily demonstrated and explained to child using this kit. It is one of the manipulatives for Algebra that eases learning remarkably. Children may find this kit quite engaging and very easy to use for practicing algebra with little practice.

A manipulative must be easy to understand, fun to play with and supportive of effective learning. This product is all of this and is easily available on online stores too.

2. Didax Easyshapes Algebra Tiles

didax algebra tiles manipulatives

Very smartly designed, these Algebra tiles are helpful manipulatives for understanding the concept of  the positive and negative values in easily comprehensible manner. Some of the tiles can have same color on both sides. Thus, parents, while helping  child practicing Algebra at home, may use two tiles to teach the concept of positive and negative numbers. Sandwiching different colored tile to indicate opposite signs helps introduce zero to the child and they are able to retain it for long in their mind.

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The tiles are quite effective in dealing with polynomials and signs used in Algebra. Teaching concepts become very easy, children love the simple design of these manipulatives too.

3. Algebra Activity Cards

algebra activity cards manipulatives

Algebra activity card is a printable manipulative that can help you engage students in learning equation solving the manipulative way. This activity card set is quite interesting and offers a lot of practice that goes into fitting the idea in the forgetful minds of small kids. So, when you need to introduce equation solving in multiple steps, you can start teaching them with the cut & paste activity that takes the complications off the solving process and makes it pure fun.

These manipulatives are designed to enhance the linear equation solving skills of the students. Inclusion of maximum of two steps in solving induces feeling of achievement and make them more confident.

4. Algebra Exponents Card Game

algebra exponenets card game manipulatives

Strengthening algebra basics come easy to you with Algebra Exponents game. These cards make calculating and using exponents pure fun. The number 24 is kept in focus. Then, students can fiddle with a variety of given signs of operations, square root, etc. to arrive upon the number 24 eventually. This manipulative is an exceptional mind stimulant and makes number crunching a fun game for the beginners of Algebra.

Children of age 12 and above are suitable to play with this game and can make it a part of the group activity. The concepts of association, brainstorming and identification are applied in making of this manipulative for Algebra.

5. Algebra Dominoes

algebra dominoes manipulatives

Most of us have grown up playing Dominoes. These interesting games make a very interesting and familiar manipulative for Algebra. This game to be used as a manipulative is made of thick plastic that makes handling easier and children will be able to engage in the actual game instead of dropping and picking them, which is usually the case with thin plastic cards.

The association based learning offered by Dominoes is quite beneficial for kids in terms of providing playful way of learning. The abstract concept of equation become exceptionally easy to absorb and your students will never get bored of it, too, because of the attractive look of these dominoes. You can help the child associate and identify the equation or its part and trick the mind to learn it.

6. Algebra Balance

algebra balance manipulatives

Algebraic equations are nothing but weighing two sides of an equation with each other. So, if you demonstrate this concept with the help of a weighing balance, it will get picked up way faster by the child. The comparison concepts like -1< 0 can be communicated the easy way with Algebra Balance.

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This manipulative for Algebra comprises of four pans of which outer are allotted to negative values and the inner ones to the positives. Apart from employing it as an easy educational support, you may use it for indulging kids in a group activity.

By the way of physical demonstrating, this manipulative offers a playful and comprehensive tool to grasp the concept with ease.

7. Hands-on Equations Starter Set

Hands-on Equations Starter Set offers innovative way of teaching how to build linear equations and solve them too. This whole set has 10 student kits comprising of 24 game pieces and there is a laminated game board. The starter set is suitable for the students of grades 3-9.

The convenience of building an equation instead of writing can offer you more tangible approach to employ to teach the child the concept of building an equation. This manipulative for Algebra is just what you need to help your child enter the world of Algebra with confidence.

8. Algebra Bulletin Boards Chart Set

algebra bulletin board chart sets manipulatives

If there could be any colorful way of introducing basic algebra concepts to the child, it is this Bulletin Boards Chart Set! You can use this manipulative to teach beginner algebra to the kids belonging to age group of 10-13. The chart set is meant to acquaint the students with the idea of how to solve equation among many other things.

There is a vocabulary chart provided to learn the lingo of Algebra and you can also find repertoire of formulae, graphing rules and orders of operation.

As a teacher, you will be amazed by the ease it offers and it is sure to become the best time-pass of the kids who may use it to learn and impress their peer group with their new found knowledge.

9. Electronic Flash Card

electronic flash card manipluative algebra

Electronic flash card is an effective manipulative for developing early algebraic skills in the child. Flexibility to use it in timed and untimed mode helps you use the product according to the grasping capability of the child. You also have the flexibility to select the level of difficulty to up the challenge.

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This manipulative for Algebra features a color coded screen to help the child get attracted to various parts of the equation and know the difference among those clearly. Thus, it reduces the chance of making errors. The feedback is provided through both visual and auditory modes.

10. Algebra Bingo Game

algebra bingo game manipulative

Bingo game has been entertaining us for years at parties or when we are with our friends. This game has made to the list of effective manipulatives for Algebra because of the ease it offers in learning about concepts, equations, expressions and calculations involved in Algebra. It offers a quick reference chart to the teachers also. Kids can have fun playing bingo and learn Algebra in the process, eventually finding better comfort with the subject.

This game provides assistance in learning about exponents, factoring, slope vocabulary and radical equations minus the complexity these concepts come with. Easy learning, fast grasping and better retention and a fun way of practicing are some of the best advantages this manipulative offers.

Capable of including up to 36 players, this game can be used as group activity in the class.

Final Words

As a starter, ‘How to acquaint children with Algebra?’- is a question that can give sleepless nights to teachers and parents. Especially for the children who require extra effort in learning, Algebra can no less than be an impossible feat to conquer. To help both the teacher and the child, the manipulatives for Algebra mentioned above are found to be very effective and useful.


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