Some ideas just slap you in the face. I got slapped this morning as I was flying home from LA to Albuquerque. Those little cocktail napkins they hand out with “beverage service” often give me the urge to write. So this morning, nerdily enough, as I sipped my orange juice at 30,000 feet above the […]

# Archive | Pre-Algebra

# Journey to the LCM … and Beyond!

In this blog/video I want to take you a little bit deeper into the world of … the LCM! Yes, that fascinating little mathematical entity is beckoning us to explore it further. Several readers wrote to me after I posted my LCM “trick,” saying they want to see me demonstrate WHY this “shortcut” works. One […]

# Temperature for Positive and Negative Numbers

Kids struggle with positive and negative numbers … that’s a given. But I’ve recently hit on a reliable way to eliminate the confusion … temperature. Using a temperature scale as a model for solving integer problems has several advantages: 1) It’s a system students already know from everyday life. 2) The relationships among positive temperatures, […]

# Algebra Survival e-Workbook arrives TODAY!!

eBook version of the Algebra Survival Guide is HERE! Check it out on Amazon.com Price is 20% lower than that of the paperback version, and the e-version has several unique advantages over the paperback book.

# How to Decrease Algebraic Mistakes – Part 5

Combining like terms confuses many students. But by using a special notation, the double-slash, students get a visual aid that helps them combine like terms with greater care. This post shows how to use the double-slash to combine like terms. And it offers practice problems and their solutions, too.

# Common Algebra Mistake: Interpreting Negative Signs in Front of Parentheses

Tricky area of algebra: negative signs in front of parentheses. This explains how we can help students relate the concept to everyday life, and thereby grasp it so they remember it!

# Subtracting Integers

Singing Turtle Press does teach the concept of Subtracting Integers. Read this post to find out how we teach this befuddling concept.

# “Simple” equations? Not always so simple.

Here’s a tip that helps teachers help students solve simple equations, but equations that have a tricky twist that can really trip kids up.

# Make Combining Integers a Lively Story

Here’s a fun and easy way to teach one of the toughest concepts in all of PreAlgebra: the rule for combining integers with different signs. We turn it into a fun “tug-of-war” game. This entry gives you everything you need to teach it today!

# Algebra mistakes due to Negative Signs? Use COLOR to EXPLAIN.

Help students conquer a major area of mistakes, using color to show the steps in the Order of Operations, with exponent expressions.