The Latest in the World of 6th Grade Math - Algebra and More

It's been great getting back into the school routine as we head towards the final few weeks of January! In 6th grade math, we just finished up our first two algebra units (Expressions and Equations) and are gearing up for our final algebra unit, which focuses on functions, inequalities, and absolute value. This picture is of some of my students working on writing and solving two-step equations during math workshop. We have spent the entire last chapter practicing writing and solving equations, and my students are really starting to get it! I have been trying to incorporate as many different types of activities as I can that have students practicing these concepts!

One fun activity that I recently created is this Algebra Equation Sort. The idea is pretty simple...students get a set of cards that are mixed up. The orange cards are the solution cards. The white cards each have an equation on one side and a letter on the other. Students must sort the cards into the correct group by finding the solution to the equation. Once they are sorted, they can flip over the cards and try to unscramble the words in each group. Who doesn't want to solve equations when you end up with a "nasty, slimy, sloth?" The cards are easy to mix and match. When I used it in my classroom last week, I put students into groups of 3-4 and gave each group 3 of the orange solution cards and the five cards that went with each solution (15 total equation cards). With groups who finished early, I had them switch with another group and solve a new set of equations!

We also got a lot of practice writing and solving equations during our Review Jeopardy game at the end of the unit. We had some exciting and close games this time around! Here was the final jeopardy question. I made sure to create one that dealt with two-step equations, since that is something we have been working so hard to master! And yes...that IS an old school chalkboard that I have in my classroom - but it works great for my daily schedule, learning goals, assignment notebook board, and things like final jeopardy!

Coming up on Monday, we are taking our first shot at graphing. I'm going to try out some life size graphing to introduce our lesson! I haven't tried this in past years, so hopefully it all goes smoothly. In the past, many of my students have struggled to remember how to graph ordered pairs - which one is the x-coordinate, which one is the y-coordinate, etc. I'm hoping that getting them out of their seats and physically standing on the points will help it stick a little better! I have six of these coordinate grids taped to the ground. Students will be in groups of 3-4, with each student getting an ordered pair card. They will work together to get everyone in their group to the correct point on the graph!

One other resource that I created recently are these Expressions & Equations Brain Busters. I plan on using this set as a math center in the upcoming weeks. I have a set of 21 cards (105 problems) for each of the common core standards for sixth grade math. I also created one variety pack of 150 questions, which includes cards that have one question from each standard. Be sure to check them out, either individually or as a bundle, in my TPT store!

It has been a solid couple months of algebra in our 6th grade class! I am looking forward to finishing up this final chapter strong, before diving headfirst into our geometry units! I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the activities we have been trying out and would love to hear your algebra ideas in the comments section below!


  1. I love the idea of a life size coordinate plane. I can't wait to see how they respond.

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