# Fun Pre-Algebra Games and Activities

While pre-algebra certainly doesn't sound like fun to most students, there are ways to incorporate some enjoyment into review sessions. Consider using the activities and games below to help your child improve his or her understanding of pre-algebra.

## An Overview of Pre-Algebra

In junior high, your child will begin learning pre-algebra skills within his or her math curriculum. In the beginning, your child will be solving equations with one variable. It will be possible for these equations will have one solution, numerous solutions or no solutions. Your child will also be using basic equations, such as y = 7x + 9, to determine the points that he or she can plot on a coordinate plane.

Within the eighth grade math curriculum, your child will also be learning how to calculate slope. Then, your child will use slope to determine if two figures are congruent. It will be important for your child to be successful solving equations with one variable, since he or she will be working with more complex equations that involve two variables by the end of eighth grade.

### Sidewalk Graphing

For this activity, you will need several different colors of sidewalk chalk and a fairly large cemented area. Begin by drawing a coordinate plane on the cement. On index cards, write a variety of simple equations for your child to graph. Place these cards in a bowl or paper bag. Ask your child to choose a card from the bag and graph the equation using the chalk.

You will want to start out with a simple equation, like y = 3x + 3. Each time your child starts to plot another equation on the coordinate plane, have him or her change the color of the chalk. This will allow your child to easily compare the different equations.

### Grab Bag Math

In eighth grade pre-algebra, your child will be learning to solve simple equations containing variables. The majority of the equations at this grade level will be in the slope-intercept form (y = mx + b). Before beginning this activity, write 'y = mx + b' in large print on a piece of paper. Then, write a variety of numbers on index cards. Your child will use these cards to substitute the variables 'm' and 'b' in the equation.

Have your child draw three cards and replace any three variables that he or she likes on the equation. For example, if he or she drew the numbers three, 12 and four, then your child could create the equation 12 = 4x + 3. Then, encourage your child to solve for the remaining variable.

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