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5 Of The Best Algebra Resources For Key Stage 3

Have I got Pythagoras for you?

  • 5 Of The Best Algebra Resources For Key Stage 3

“What is this witchcraft?”

Can you remember your reaction the first time you saw letters in maths? Just when we thought we had the numbers bit figured out suddenly we’ve Xs and Ys being thrown around willy-nilly.

Then, this guy showed up:

“Oh, really, you have nearly 2.7 trillion digits? How am I
supposed to type that into my Casio calculator watch?”

But, we all have to start somewhere, and our first algebra resource is as good a place as any…

1 BBC Bitesize: Introduction to Formulas


The Bitesize Introduction to Formulas page takes you through the basics of algebraic terms and expressions, adding and subtracting like terms and constructing formulas, through revision, tests, activities and examples.

Plus, you can find loads more on the full Bitesize algebra page.


2 Mind Reading


“Wait, mind reading isn’t on the curriculum.” You’re right. That’s because most things on the curriculum have at least some grounding in reality. However, using maths to convince children you can read minds? Well, that’s a cool hook. Let’s try it.

Think of a number. Add one. Double it. Take away three. Add your original number. Add seven. Divide by three. And finally take away your original number.

Your answer is…wait for it…it’s coming to me…


It’s ‘2’.

You too can learn the secrets of this mind-reading magic, as it’s of course a mathematical activity from NRICH.

However, it’s a bit of a giveaway that you’re not actually psychic if you keep repeating this trick and the answer is always ‘2’.

So NRICH has you covered with a more-advanced version you can use.


3 Equation Balance


Game time, hoo!

OK, probably not as much need to psyche yourself up like a hulking defensive tackle in the NFL, but we may as well have some fun while we’re practising maths.

This simple game from Flash Maths is a great way for students to visualise the concepts at play when balancing equations.

Give it a go here.


4. Pyramid Collecting Like Terms


Something more tangible now. These printable worksheets are great for getting pupils to see what goes in to collecting like terms in algebraic equations.

There’s an easy version as well as a medium one.

You’ll also find a handy worksheet with instructions and questions too.


5 Inverse Operations: Spy Codes


Think you know your algebra back to front? Now’s the chance to prove it. This inverse operations activity from TeachIt Maths get pupils to decipher the spy code by inverting the algebraic equation.

It’s free to download just by registering with the site, while paying subscribers can get editable versions.

Sign up here for your free Brilliant Teacher Box Set

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