Algebra Tiles and Modeling Equations
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Students learn to represent equations using algebra tiles. A green rectangular tile represents a positive variable, a red rectangular tile represents a negative variable, a large blue square tile represents a positive variable squared, a large red square tile represents a negative variable squared, a small yellow square tile represents a positive constant, and a small red square tile represents a negative constant. For example, the equation 4x + 2 = 10 can be represented as four green rectangular tiles, two small yellow square tiles, an equals sign, and ten small yellow square tiles. Students also learn to model the solution to a given equation by getting a green rectangular tile by itself on one side of the equation.