Algebra Art Pre-Algebra

 This module is part of the curriculum developed through the Mathematics Across the Curriculum (MAC) project. The MAC project began at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington in 2000. It was supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE #0088149), Edmonds CC, and other local and state agencies. Over the four years of the project, MAC involved 122 faculty representing 33 disciplines from 19 different high schools, colleges, and universities. The MAC project's goal was to support faculty in creating curricula to enable their students to experience the quantitative and mathematical aspects of many disciplines. For more information about MAC, see http://mac.edcc.edu.
 Color Harmonies & Algebra Tiles By Cyndy Wilson Spokane Falls Community College This is primarily a design project that focuses on composition, color harmonies and geometric shapes. The geometric shapes (squares and rectangles) are actually also cleverly disguised (!) Algebra Tiles. This allows us at the conclusion of the project and critique to translate student designs into math expressions. The math needed for this project is Elementary Algebra. Algebra tiles appeal to me because they can be very helpful to people who have difficulty with algebra. I never did particularly well in Algebra and I just figured I couldn't do it. Variables didn't make sense to me. I wanted them to have a specific value that didn't change. Sounds silly, I guess, but x and y or a, b, and c didn't mean anything to me. I didn't understand what to do with them. THEN I discovered Algebra Tiles! Even though they still represented variables the shapes were concrete, I could touch them, move them around, color them! And something clicked in my brain. I hope that this activity will help algebra "click" for some of your students! Instructor Sheet and Student Handout