These giant ones are easy to use on a magnetic whiteboard. After a few demonstrations, students can come up and work through a few practice problems to learn how these manipulatives work.
After that, of course they can get into a technology version of some kind, but I have found that the first introduction just has to be hands-on.
Printable Tiles - Download
So far, I have only assembled positive sets to demonstrate the basics, but if you want them to be reversible like regular algebra tiles, just print a set of red tiles too and place the card stock pieces back-to-back with the magnets between the layers. (Make sure your magnetic tape is double-sided.)
a few Ways to Use Algebra Tiles
- adding and subtracting integers
- solving equations
- adding and subtracting polynomials
- multiplying polynomials
Links & Resources
This hands-on applet is a great way to let students explore as a follow-up to using the giant board tiles together:
Here is a free download of standard-sized printable algebra tiles for student desks: