The Beans in a Pan Puzzles are a hands-on way to stimulate algebraic thinking in a fun and interesting context. CUT & SERVE! them on a paper or plastic plate, pour out the dried beans of your choice, and watch the kids go at it. Includes 10 "closed ended" puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty, 10 more "open ended" puzzles, and "DIY" blanks for your students to make their own.
In middle school, you can have your students write algebraic equations about the different puzzles, including "3 more than 1/5 of Dan's Pan," which would be "1/5 D + 3" (assuming D = the number of beans in Dan's pan.)