Year 7 and 8 Algebra


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There are many skills to learn to master Algebra, but we have already made a great start – You :

1. Can recognise and continue a pattern

2. Understand that a pro-numeral (a letter) represents a variable (changing number)

3. Understand that it is mathematical convention to leave out the multiplication sign in expressions and equations involving pro-numerals.

4. Can substitute positive and negative numbers into an equation

5. Can plot points on a cartesian plane

6. Can determine the equation from a table of values

7. Can solve an equation using backtracking

The next step is to be able to solve an equation by doing the same operation to both sides. Try these online activities:

Algebra Balance Scales (a virtual manipulative from Utah State University)

Algebra Balance Scales with negatives (same as above, but with negative numbers)

Equation Buster – from MathsNet

Area of a triangle



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Learning Intention: To understand how to calculate the area of a triangle and why the formula (A = 1/2 x base x height) works for all triangles.

Success Criteria: Students will complete the interactive “Area of Triangles” activity with at least 80% of answers correct.

Algebra Balance Scales

So far we have looked at the basic rules for algebra in expressions – leaving out the multiplication sign and the ‘1’ in front of a pronumeral, adding and subtracting ‘like terms’ and multiplying and dividing with pronumerals. Next we will look at multiplying and dividing with indices and then using equations.

Maths is Fun has a quick tutorial on how to use exponents with six questions you can try online.

The Algebra Balance Scales are all about doing the same thing to both sides. So if you remove to blocks from one side do the same to the other side.

Algebra Balance Scales with Negatives is a little more difficult – balloons act as negative numbers to counter-act the weights.

When you have spent about 15 minutes on each activity, leave me a comment to let me know what you found easy, what you found difficult and what you learnt from these two interactive learning objects.

Algebra versus Cockroaches

This fun game from HotMaths requires you to use linear equations to knock out cockroaches on a cartesian plane. Choose a weapon and determine the equation of the line, which represents the path of a weapon, that is used to destroy cockroaches. Draw on your knowledge of the gradient and y-intercept of a line. There are different levels which get progressively harder as you move through the levels. Hints and a printable report, outlining your progress, are also available. Let me know what you learnt in the comments below.

Slopes and Equations of lines from Geogebra  has a series of five activities which begin with asking you to choose two points on the given line, then following the instructions and using the rule for gradient, calculate the gradient. The next activities ask you to find the gradient from a line you create and the last two activities require you to find the equation of the line. Good luck and have fun! Let me know how you go in the comment section. Which of the two sites helped you to learn more about gradient and linear equations?

Directed number – Positives and Negatives


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I will be away from school on Thursday – at a Maths PD, learning more about how to teach Maths! This is the work i would like you to complete while I am away:

  • Mathsmate worksheet 4 is due on Friday 4th March
  • Mathletics – each of you have several assigned tasks to complete
  • BBC Bitesize activities and quiz
  • Go to FUSE and complete this learning task: GEMT4H

Directed numbers are useful when you are talking about credit and debt, temperatures above and below zero and metres above and below sea level. Revise your knowledge of negative numbers here.

Complete this activity and then a quick test about negative numbers here. Have fun and good luck – let me know what you have learnt about negative numbers.