Algebra Tiles

Pronunciation: /ˈæl dʒə brə taɪlz/ ?

Algebra tiles are square and rectangular tiles used to represent algebraic principles. The small square tiles represent an area of 1. The small square tiles are unitary; the small tiles define one square unit.

The rectangular tiles represent and area of x. The short side has a length of 1, and the long side has a length of x. Using the formula for the area of a rectangle (A = l x w), A = 1·x = x, the area of a rectangular tile is x.

The large square tiles represent an area of x2. Each side has a length of x. Using the formula for the area of a square (A = s2), A = x2. The area of the large square tiles is x2.

Dynamic Algebra Tiles

Manipulative 1 shows dynamic algebra tiles representing (2x+3)(x+1)=2x^2+5x+3. Click on the blue point in manipulative 1 and drag it to change the figure.

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Manipulative 1: Dynamic algebra tiles. Created with GeoGebra.

More Information

  • Algebra Tiles. mathbits.com. Math Bits. Frederick and Donna Roberts. 2009-11-11. http://mathbits.com/MathBits/AlgebraTiles/IntroductionPage.pdf.
  • Algebra Tiles: Model and Solve and Equation. my.hrw.com. Holt Online Learning. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 2009-11-11. http://my.hrw.com/math06_07/nsmedia/tools/Algebra_Tiles/Algebra_Tiles.html.

Educator Resources

  • Algebra Tiles. National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. Utah State University. 2009-12-24. http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/NAV/frames_asid_189_g_4_t_2.html?open=activities&from=category_g_4_t_2.html.
  • McAdams, David. Algebra Tiles. www.lifeisastoryproblem.org. Life is a Story Problem. Life is a Story Problem LLC. 2009-11-11. http://www.lifeisastoryproblem.org/algebra/algebratiles.pdf.

Printed Resources

Cite this article as:


Algebra Tiles. 2009-11-11. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/a/algebratiles.html.

Image Credits

Revision History


2009-11-11: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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