Teaching Linear Equations

I love Algebra. Geometry teachers may disagree that it's the best math, and my own Algebra 2 heart aches a little with this confession, but there are just so many amazing things about it. Algebra is the first time students are introduced to linear equations. It's the first time kids really need to write things down. Kids who have struggled with math, tediously writing everything down throughout elementary and middle school, will finally see their hard work pay off when keeping track of steps really starts to matter. 

Algebra is my favorite now but it could have just as well gone a completely different way. As if middle school wasn't bad enough with everyone posturing their shell toes and Champion sweatshirts, my 8th grade math teacher threw me into my very first identity crisis. He called girls "dumb blondes" and his wife a "cow". A lot of the boys thought he was great! What a cool guy! But the girls... not so much. Having light hair and being 13, I was sure his comments were directed square at me.  Math had always come easy to me, but it became impossible to tell which way was up. I remember being given one of those "Train A left the station at 7AM" problems and just not getting it, no matter how hard I tried. My mental block towards mixture problems didn't lift until my first year teaching Algebra. 

Thankfully I eventually got back on track, but I never felt as confident as I had before meeting that teacher. Even without a bad experience, math can cause kids a lot of anxiety. I had these kids in mind when making all of the resources outlined in this post.

slope intercept flip book for an algebra interactive notebook

Interactive notebooks weren't a thing when I was a kid, but I would have been 1000% into them if they had been! This slope intercept form flippable goes together easily and can either be glued into a notebook or can stand alone as a flipbook reference. 

There are 3 flippables in the set. Under each flap of each flippable is an explanation of each variable. After a few teacher requests, I updated this set of linear equations flippables with an additional set that is blank inside.

linear equations flippables for an Algebra interactive notebook

This one in the set is for the point slope form of a linear equation.

linear equations flippables for an Algebra interactive notebook

And here is one for the slope formula.

slope-intercept hearts pennant

I get feedback from teachers everyday about how they are using math pennants in their classrooms and how much their students enjoy them. This slope-intercept hearts pennant is specially designed for love-fueled Valentine's Day when there are many more googly eyes than assignments getting done. No one but teachers understand what we go through!

And Christmas? Fuggedaboutit. I have made a bunch of holiday math pennants as a way for students to do math, stay engaged and decorate their classrooms for the holidays. 

linear equations pennant

Because sometimes linear equations hit during other times of year, I made this linear equations pennant that covers writing equations given different pieces of information, like tables and points.

linear equations puzzle

This linear equations puzzle asks students to match 3 forms of linear equations to their graphs and is a great team activity.

Algebra word wall for linear equations

At the end of last year I decided that my Algebra 2 classroom really needed references for linear equations. I found myself constantly drawing graphs on the board to review intercepts that I needed a permanent link. This reference is hanging on our newly-improved Algebra word wall and it's used more than even I expected. You can read more about our classroom word walls in the post High School Math Word Wall Ideas.

Algebra graphing grass project for linear equations

When I taught Algebra 1, one of my favorite things do do was a graphing grass linear equations project. The students got so into it and the project tied in so many different Algebra topics. You can read more about the project in the post Graphing Grass Linear Equations Project.

Algebra 1 warm up template

Warm ups, do nows, bell ringers... whatever you call them they are so important. Warm up templates have changed my teaching almost as much as word walls have. This Algebra warm up template makes practicing graphing linear equations, completing tables, finding slope, finding y-intercepts, finding x-intercepts and writing equations given a graph (this one is always the hardest, even for my Algebra 2 students) super quick and easy. And the best part? Print a stack and you're good to go for a while. You can find the free Algebra 1 warm up template through this link.

Algebra Activities Growing Bundle

Algebra can be stressful but it can also be fun. Every activity in this Algebra Activities Growing Bundle keeps struggling students in mind and presents topics in engaging ways. All of the activities in this post can be found in this bundle along with others that meet the Algebra 1 standards.

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