Tag Archives: algebra

Operations & Algebraic Thinking: A Common Core Math Series

operationsSo far in our series about math standards we have discussed Counting & Cardinality. Today’s post is centered around Operations & Algebraic Thinking (one of the K-5 Common Core Math Standards). I am excited to share with you some of the resources I have found!

What are Operations & Algebraic Thinking? This is simply understanding and solving math problems using the 4 operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Of course Kinders will start out with gaining a basic understanding of just adding and subtracting while the older grades are required to not only use all 4 operations but to understand them enough to write numerical expressions and analyze patterns and relationships. This post will primarily focus on the younger grades, since this is where I will be teaching soon.

When should I start teaching my child Operations & Algebraic Thinking? You can model simple addition and subtraction problems with your kiddos as soon as you feel your child is ready. I think most preschool age children would benefit from modeling of very simple problems using objects that are important to them. For example: “You have 2 cookies, if I give you 1 more, how many would you have?”

What resources are available to help my child learn Operations & Algebraic Thinking? There are SO many wonderful activities and lessons available to help us teach our kids to understand this math standard. I have included apps, literature, activities from this blog, and links to other great ideas.

There are TONS of Operations & Algebraic Thinking apps available! This is just a sampling of what I have found: Mental Math for Kids (android), Addition and Subtraction for Kids (iTunes), Math Addition Games For Kids (android), Sushi Monster (iTunes), Rocket Math (iTunes), Math: Multiplication Table (android), Einstein Math Academy (android), Division for Kids (iTunes), Medieval Math Battle (android) AND Medieval Math Battle (iTunes), YodelOh Math Mountain (android) AND YodelOh Math Mountain (iTunes), and Operation Math (android) AND Operation Math (iTunes). I could easily list 100 apps that are centered around the Operations & Algebraic Thinking math standard!

Here is a list of some of the great Operations & Algebraic Thinking literature. Just click on the pic to learn more about each book.

Addition and Subtraction:

51I-cjJkFTL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ 5134CBGGJZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ 51ooEIO8BTL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_51RXDMVKPQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ 51RRrfpJerL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_61BEZYAQB3L._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_51Q023GBMML._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ 61E4s00CExL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ 61BWRTEYW5L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ 51mRo412A1L._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

Multiplication and Division:



61RNFVKXCAL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_  51A06tb+ZzL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_  51ZbjR89JsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Teacher resources:

61nw95eEphL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ 51XmxGnxExL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ 61v9CXw+kNL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_51FWLelcrlL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_  51zS2S0MjNL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_51RPr6mgRmL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_51boSBfUm5L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_51ewKa+eD7L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

Here are some of the activities that we have done in the past centered around Operations & Algebraic Thinking:

MISSION ADDITION When my  daughter was 3 we spent a day saving all the animals in trouble via math skills. And while she didn’t walk away quoting math facts, she had a BLAST. There is nothing wrong with a little academic immersion through play! (Feel free to download our free Mission Addition PDF)

mission addition


I posted a review about Bubbling Math– a math operation game for Kids. I like that this available for desktops as well!


I saw the idea of creating Towers with Unifix Blocks on Pinterest (thank you Home Grown Learners!!). This activity is easy to use, hands on, and gets kiddos familiar with the look of math problems.


And last but certainly not least is our trusty number scale. One idea is to have your child find the sum by placing two weights on one side of the scale (the math problem) and then on the other side of the scale put a weight on the sum. If their answer is correct  the scale will balance!


Here are some other GREAT educational games from around the web.

Candace from Naturally Educational shares a great way to teach addition with regrouping using money! And what kid (or parent for that matter) doesn’t LOVE money?

Little Bins for Little Hands has a cute numbers and colors game that will teach a basic foundation for addition and subtraction.

I love the Teaching about Number Lines with the Number Line Hop post from Boy Mama Teacher Mama. This activity would go GREAT with the book Ready, Set, Hop.

And for those that want a fun, unique math operation challenge, check out Afterschool for Smarty Pants. She has a wonderful post on using Math Squares!

We can’t forget to include two other resources:

Math Story’s Math Songs with videos and lyrics. Great resource!

Teachers Pay Teachers. This is a one stop shop with some of the CUTEST math curriculum I have ever seen! (Is it sad that the cuteness is a selling factor for me? haha I promise I enjoy the quality and educational aspects of their work as well!)

As always- I hope this list will be beneficial in helping your kids understand math more fully.

Happy Teaching!

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