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KS3 Maths – 11 Of The Best Free Algebra Resources

From quickfire card games to 'spot the mistake' cards and mathematical puzzle games, these resources will help your students get to grips with algebra from the off this year

  • KS3 Maths – 11 Of The Best Free Algebra Resources

What do you think about most on your summer holidays? A day at the beach? A lie-in? A night out? Quadratic and linear equations? You must be a maths teacher.

You’ve no doubt got plenty of school-related things to being doing over August, so you probably don’t want to devote too much time to factorising equations, nth terms and the like.

So if you’re looking for some handy activities, ideas and lesson plans for KS3 algebra, try some of these for size.

1. Expanding brackets

Pre-assess students’ ability to expand brackets, and then introduce questions for those who are secure, developing or exceeding expectations. By the end of this algebra lesson, students will have developed a better understanding of the bigger mathematical picture.

Get this resource here.


2. Spot the mistakes

A group activity designed for mixed algebra revision on factorising equations.

Each card has question and solution. Unfortunately, the solution may contain a classic mistake. The students need to identify the mistake and provide a correct solution.

Get this resource here.


3. Differentiated task cards

This pack contains eight sets of four algebra-themed question cards, with the cards in each set representing four levels of differentiation.

Each set covers a different algebra topic, ranging from simple real-life situations (‘Wrapping up; ‘Sweet treats’) to nth-term questions and sequences, working with simple algebraic equations and geometry.

Get this resource here.


4. Factorising equations PowerPoint

A simple, ready-to-project algebra lesson starter (or plenary) for KS3 and KS4 on factorising equations. There are four different questions to project, with working space and solutions provided.

Get this resource here.


5. Linear and quadratic equations

These two resources each contain four-page worksheet of questions on solving linear and quadratic equations of increasing complexity, and include both a question and answer sheet.

The grading structure is similar to that proposed for the new GCSE specification.

Click here for the linear equations and here for the quadriatic ones.


6. The Power of Puzzles lesson plan

Instead of treating algebra as a foreboding, abstract topic to be feared, students ought to see it as a useful tool that can actually make their learning of maths a whole lot easier. Here’s a lesson plan from Colin Foster that can help bring them round.

Get this lesson plan PDF here and its corresponding task sheet here


7. Algebraic expressions, collecting terms and solving equations

This resource provides teaching pedagogy for algebraic expressions, collecting terms and solving equations. It supports KS3 teachers with the planning and delivery of lessons and includes plenaries and effective teaching techniques.

Get this lesson plan PDF here


8. Guess the film – Harry Potter

Help students revise solving inequalities with this engaging interactive resource inspired by the gameshow Catchphrase.

A square is removed from the board each time students answer a question correctly, gradually revealing an image taken from a popular film.

First, print off all the questions and get the students to answer as many as they can in their books. Then, as a class, have the students volunteer their answers. If a student volunteers the correct answer, click the relevant box to make it disappear and reveal part of the film still.

(You might want to ask students to wait until all is revealed before actually identifying the film, so as not to spoil things for everyone else.)

Click each of these links to download the following Guess the Film resources:

And, of course, Harry Potter is here.


9. 30 factorising equations questions

A great 30-question worksheet for rote practice, with solutions. Covers KS3 and KS4 algebra - factorising equations.

Get this resource here.


10. Simplification Switch quickfire card game

This is a game based around simpifying equations with ‘Xs and ‘Ys. It’s playable with any number of players, from one-on-one to an entire classroom. This resource contains a total of 54 cards – 36 bearing ‘x’, ‘2x’, ‘3x’, ‘y’, ‘2y’ and ‘3y’ denominations, plus 18 ‘switch’ cards bearing arrows, along with full instructions on how to play.

This is a game with no answer key, requiring the presence of a tutor or experienced older student to guide in checking or giving answers.

Give it a go here.


11. Settler activities for factorising expressions

This is a 20-question settler activity for KS3 or KS4. There are four different versions, each containing the same questions but arranged in a different order.

Students factorise the 20 expressions, shading in their answers on the grid on the left-hand side.

When they have finished, there will be five unshaded answers to be transferred to the boxes at the bottom of the sheet. These expressions will form a pattern.

The target is the missing expression which is (x -2)(x + 3), so no marking is needed – if they have found the target.

Get this one here.

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