Hands on Math Activities for Algebra 1

There are basically three types of learning styles when it comes to learning Algebra 1. These learning styles are auditory, visual and kinesthetic. In classes that teach algebra, kinesthetic learning is the most difficult to approach because of the lack of hands on math activities that work well for teaching Algebra 1 concepts. Here we’re going to look at a few good activities that will work well for algebra students.

Basic scales used for balancing two sets of objects can be used as the basis for many different types of hands on math activities involving algebra. You can use a set of small weights or plastic blocks like Legos as numeric values. If you acquire some soft, light-weight bags that are made out of a material like silk or satin, then you can use these as variables that you don’t know the value of by putting some number of weights inside and placing them on the scale. This works best on a triple beam scale since you can zero the scale for the weight of the bag.

One of the most common hands on math activities that uses concepts found in Algebra 1 involves the ratios of two objects and their shadows. The classic version of this activity requires a measuring tape or yard stick and small group of two or three students. You start off by measuring the height of a student and the length of his or her shadow. Next, you measure the shadow of a large object like a building or flag pole that you have no way to measure directly. Using the ratio of the height of an object to the length of its shadow, you can then determine the height of the second object. To check your answer without using algebra,  multiply the height of the student by the length of the large object’s shadow, and then divide that product by the length of the student’s shadow.

There are many ways that you can use hands on math activities to get Algebra 1 help, and these activities work best for kinesthetic learners.