algebra Archives - Mary Kienstra

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Box Multiplication: Showing the Distributive Property

By: Mary Kienstra on: March 9, 2017  in: algebra, distributive property, Math,

Box multiplication makes multiplying double digits concrete to young mathematicians.  Instead of wondering where to put the digits and why they go there, kids are thinking of the area model of multiplication and filling in the boxes.  The best thing about box multiplication is how easily it translates to the distributive property.   Learning to multiply […] Read more


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Algebra Equation Models

By: Mary Kienstra on: April 26, 2015  in: algebra, differentiation

Algebra can be very abstract for young students, but teaching with Algebra equation models makes it easy to learn.  Students love learning Algebra this way and feel very smart when they can solve difficult problems using concrete models in math class. Students in my classes have learned to solve algebra equations using “Hands On Equations” by Borenson […] Read more


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Weight Logic Algebraic Thinking Problems

By: Mary Kienstra on: February 14, 2015  in: algebra, Engagement, Math

Elementary students access algebraic thinking using different formats and problems. I’ve found the greatest resource for teaching my students algebraic thinking is to practice weekly with Weight Logic algebra problems from Marcy Cook Math.  These problems encourage algebraic thinking in a very friendly way – using balances and pieces of fruit! Marcy Cook Math products […] Read more